EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I sometimes wish I didn’t publish job leads at all. I know this is shocking for someone who is sending out a newsletter full of job leads, but it is the truth.

Our newsletter contains a wealth of information as do our membership directories. For those of you determined to never learn anything about the job search process, I would suggest you conduct a passive job search and only read the leads.

For the rest of you, may I suggest that you read my editorial, the Good News Announcements and Members in Need of Assistance, as well as the additional editorial material that I include in every newsletter and then IF you have time, read the job leads. (By the way, if you are going to read the job leads, don’t let them sit around. Job leads have a shelf life of about a nanosecond.)

I know you “walk among us.” Many members appear to have never read a good job search book. May I recommend Rites of Passage by John Lucht? If you don’t know about this book, follow the link to RiteSite.com just above my editorial and get yourself a copy.

Job search for those of us over the age of 40 is a PERMANENT activity in our life. Sad to say there are very few gold watches that are going to be given out in the next 50 years. That was then, this is now. All jobs are temporary. Even when you are working, you are only between searches.

What you need to do in your life is become an expert at this minor inconvenience we all experience more and more frequently called job search. The focus of our newsletter is to spoon feed a little information each and every day about what is important. If you are treating our newsletter like the one of the major job boards, you are missing the point. While I do all that I can do to make our job leads current and appropriate to our membership, it is only a small part of why we have The FENG.

Let me beat a few drums and give you a little bit of a headache. First, outgoing signatures. I have considered not responding to any email that doesn’t have one, but then I wouldn’t be answering most of the messages I get. I shocked a member today by calling him. I told him it was a just punishment for his having an outgoing signature. You can win this lottery too if you write to me and don’t force me to use my secret decoder ring.

Second, the world will discover where you live. I know that some of you out there believe that if you leave off your home address you will be considered for jobs for which you are not local. Think again. If you create a mystery, you are more likely to have your resume deleted. And under the heading of “you can’t make this stuff up,” one of our members who was local to something I was working on today didn’t have his address on his resume.

Third, you are likely to have to indicate in general terms how old you are at some point. You may as well have it at the beginning. I know that some of you have been told that no one is interested in any jobs more than 10 years ago. While this is true, that doesn’t mean you should leave them off. One of the trends I am seeing is folks having a final sentence or paragraph that begins with “and prior jobs at the following firms: …” Should I mention that this list is generally so long that I have to assume they are older than Methuselah? A particularly ridiculous approach I saw today was “earlier work history available upon request.” Yes, you can’t make this stuff up. And, this particular person had their college graduation date on their resume. What exactly was the point?

If you don’t know how to spell your own name, you are likely not to be considered for anything. And, yes, there was a member today who spelled his name wrong in the “From” section of his email cover note. If you don’t know how to spell or have issues with grammar, find someone who can proof read your messages and proof read your resume. Let me add here that if you actually don’t know how to type, you might want to have someone who does do a little highlighting of the important stuff on your resume. I actually had a resume today that had NO bolding and another resume where the bolding was inconsistent. By inconsistent, I mean portions of the line were bolded ending in the middle of words. Another resume had equal signs through the middle of every word on the resume so that it appeared they were being crossed off. I’m sure Microsoft would like to know how he did that.

If you are being hired as a financial officer of an organization, your future employers would like to know that you practice attention to detail. Every company on your resume should be checked on Google and uppercased or lower cased appropriately. Yes, I know you worked there, but every firm has a preferred way that the company should appear, as in PricewaterhouseCoopers. It isn’t PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and it isn’t Price Waterhouse. Every word and every checkable point on your resume and in your cover letters needs to be presented correctly.

I know that there are those among us who feel they don’t need to read the editorial material in our newsletter or for that matter attend our networking meetings. They already know everything there is to know about job search. If you are one of those individuals, I would suggest that you are missing out. I have been at this for quite some time and I’m still learning.

The purpose of The FENG is to provide you with the best resources on the face of the earth in your quest for gainful employment.

As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. I can only guess that there are those of you out there who don’t realize how thirsty you are.

Please know that for those of you who want to learn and become proficient at the essential skill of finding a job, the leadership of The FENG is ALWAYS here for you. And, sooner or later, we will catch up with the rest of you and help you on your way as well.

It will be our pleasure.

Regards, Matt

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