EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

A long time ago I received an email from one of our members comparing and contrasting the job leads he was getting from various sources.

The quick story is that he was a subscriber to two paid services in addition to our newsletter. What I found disappointing was his closing comment which began by saying how much he appreciated our newsletter and the job leads contained in it but ended with the comment that when he found a job he would be sure to make a contribution.

While I would be the first one to understand that it is difficult to fully understand the value of job leads you see posted in various places, I would hope that members of The FENG would have enough common sense to know that most of the leads in our newsletter are gold and the ones that you see most other places are “fool’s gold.” They appear to have value, but are totally worthless.

Anyone who is spending their hard earned money supporting the various paid services, I would hope you are sending at least that much money to support The FENG.

Let me begin by saying that I am not a big fan of job leads from any source. Even in our newsletter, you have to do a little reading between the lines to know if a job lead is of real value. The ones of highest value include the phrase “please use my name in contacting.” They also typically include the search professional’s FULL business card information. Personal relationships are at stake with these postings, so you can’t just “click and shoot,” but if you are a fit, they are the gold. The recruiters who use us value the controlled response they receive from our august body, so again, you win.

Paid services invite disrespect. While they may be sold to “a better class of criminal,” the truth is that because they are paying for it, subscribers have an “I’m paying for it, so I’ll answer what I damn well please to answer” mentality. The anecdotal evidence of which I am aware is that in most cases, recruiters get an over response to postings to paid services.

The free services are even worse. Friends, it is the wild, wild west. There is NO personal responsibility on EITHER side. Recruiters post without revealing themselves, and those who visit those websites return the favor by “clicking and shooting.”

Every month I get a few requests to structure the newsletter by geography, salary level, skill set or all of the above. You will have to take my word for it that because most recruiters don’t provide the necessary information and because we do outbound email, this is not practical. Our philosophy is “time is of the essence.” We blast out the job leads we get, only stopping to do a little formatting to make them more readable. (Leslie and Charlotte do a super job, don’t they? You should see what it looks like when they get it! Bad doesn’t begin to describe it.)

Just because a website is structured with any or all of the above doesn’t make their service more valuable to you. At one of the regional services I am aware of, the job leads are categorized and posted weekly. Yes, weekly, as in DEAD ON ARRIVAL. And, they are taken from several of the public websites. You may as well send your response to yourself for all the good it will do.

Despite my negative comments about the job leads posted elsewhere, the REAL gold of your membership in The FENG is our 40,000+ membership directory. Networking, networking and more networking is what has the highest odds of helping you find another job. Networking within The FENG will at worst get you STARTED and COMFORTABLE with networking outside of our family.

Do a passive job search if you like. Don’t call anyone. Just don’t complain about how you can’t find a job. Do you want proof that networking works? Just keep a tally count of the good news announcements in our newsletter.

Like a veteran prospector, you will soon be able to tell the difference between real gold and fool’s gold.

Regards, Matt

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