Making a pest of yourself

Published on Sep 12, 2023 by Matt Bud, The FENG
Job Leads & Job Boards Recruiters

As I am sure all of you know, one of your responsibilities as a member is, to the best of your ability, to only respond to job postings when you are reasonably qualified.

The greatest majority of job postings in our newsletter come your way through the good offices of your fellow members. If they are posted under my name, they are the result of our organization’s great reputation. (Your esteemed Chairman, in his role as official silver tongued devil of The FENG, may also have very recently extolled the significant benefits of becoming a “Friend of The FENG” upon these very fortunate members of the search community.

Just as “birds of a feather flock together,” recruiters tend to specialize. In a manner similar to our structure of chapters and special interest groups, some specialize by industry, some by geography and some by areas of expertise.

If you are a regular responder to postings in our newsletter, what you need to keep in mind is that you are going to keep running into the same recruiters over and over again. Every posting of theirs in our newsletter cannot possibly be a fit for you. Sure you could do the job. Of this I have no doubt. I also assume that you have carefully read the position description and are comfortable answering this question in the affirmative.

However, the real question is, are you going to have any kind of serious chance to be asked to interview? For example, if the posting says “local candidates only,” is your background (on paper) sufficiently overwhelming to make up for the fact that you live 3,000 miles away? If the job is for a Chief Financial Officer, have you been one? If it is for a Controller, do you have extensive Controllership experience? If you have for the past 10 years held titles like Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, chances are you will not be deemed appropriate fodder for a Controller job. Again, I’m sure you could do it, but are you going to be considered a reasonable candidate?

Just as the boy who cried wolf, you are not only damaging the reputation of The FENG by over responding, you are embarrassing yourself as well. If you think that in the blur of all the responses the recruiter in question won’t remember your name if he/she doesn’t pick you, think again.

Our goal as an organization is to keep those recruiters who specialize in senior financial folks coming back time and again. Your goal as a job applicant is to ensure that your credentials are taken seriously when you really are a fit.

It is bad enough when we burn bridges with people we know. Don’t burn bridges with strangers you would like to meet by making a pest of yourself.

Regards, Matt