EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Okay sports fans, the new year has begun. It is now January 14th and time is slipping away. At the moment this year promises to be a good one for employment. (Then again, the light at the end of the tunnel I am seeing could be a speeding locomotive.)

Although you have to “do it all,” I would suggest that your area of greatest focus needs to be networking, networking, networking. (And then, if you have time, more networking.)

Networking within The FENG needs to be conducted with research and careful thoughtfulness as to the time of other members. I have in recent weeks seen several inappropriate approaches.

As much as I encourage members to communicate with one another, please be selective. Read each member’s directory listing and try to make some reference to it in your message so they will know that you took the time to study their background to discover common interests and connections.

As with any good cover note, be sure to state clearly how they might be of assistance to you and be sure to attach a copy of your resume. Speech is the slowest form of communication, and having to talk someone through your work history is a waste of time when they can read it easily while they are on the phone with you by opening your resume.

Be sure to add an outgoing signature to your email. If you don’t know what an outgoing signature is, look up “signature” on your email provider’s service and FIGURE IT OUT. 75% of the messages I receive each day are still WITHOUT an outgoing signature. If you want to have someone contact you, make it easy for them. Telephone numbers should appear in preferred order. Believe it or not, if someone wants to talk to you they will call all the numbers you provide. Calling you is simply easier than having YOU call when all your paperwork isn’t in front of them as it is now. Provide your physical address as well as your email address. Yes, I know your email address usually appears at the top in visible form, but not always. It depends on the email system the recipient uses. Your physical address is needed to know your time zone. At least provide a City/State.

Don’t write to any more folks than you can reasonably call. The key to a successful networking campaign is follow-up. As a general guideline, every phone call takes 15 minutes. That means, don’t make more than 30-40 promises to call for any one day. Space them out.

Have someone else read your cover letter. It not only should be free of errors, but it should be clear as to your purpose in calling and the possible connection. Don’t think that anyone will be able to figure out how to apply your great talents if you haven’t.

Asking for someone’s assistance is a great honor that you are bestowing on them. Think how you have felt when others have called you. It feels good to help others as long as they do their part.

The FENG membership directory is created and maintained at great cost. The funds and effort are spent because it is the most valuable tool that you have available. (I honestly spend more money than a drunken sailor on your behalf in keeping our membership database current.)

Used carefully and with the tender loving care it deserves, it can put you on as straight a path as there is in this world to that new great job!

Regards, Matt

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