Selling life jackets to those drowning

Published on Feb 04, 2024 by Matt Bud, The FENG
Being Out of Work Job Leads & Job Boards
Since a significant percentage of our members are in the job market, I thought I would make you aware that almost all of the job search related websites are in the business of selling life jackets to people who are drowning. And, the life jackets they sell don’t actually work.

An alternate way of saying it is they are trying to pick your pocket.

Job leads, in and of themselves, are almost totally and completely worthless. Heresy perhaps. Yes, someone does win the lottery every day. Yes, you should leave no stone unturned. Still, the perceived value of a job lead, especially on an Internet website, is a LOT less than you think it is. And, be aware that many of the websites have sneaky ways of nickel and diming you to death.

While I believe our job leads have more value than most, I don’t sell them to you for this very reason. We live on voluntary contributions. If you can afford to make a donation, fine. If you can’t, that’s okay too.

For those of you who are spending time surfing these websites, may I suggest you stop? I have almost never heard of anyone getting a job from them. But then, I have only been Chairing our august body since 1996. If you are a member of long standing, tell me how many people do you know who have said they found their job lead on a website?

What you have to question is how these jobs sites get their leads and how selective they are. In our own case, almost all of the postings in our newsletter come from recruiters who are registered with us. A few slip through now and then, but for the most part anyone posting has registered as a Friend of The FENG. While it may not have any force of law, the personalized tracking and communication we do lets them know we know who they are. (And, we know where they live. Okay, at least where they work.) The others come from members who have relationships with search professionals who have not yet registered with us.

The world is built on a series of personal relationships, and we try to enforce this theme by requiring those posting with us to provide their FULL business card information. I also try to get firms posting with us to provide a city location and a salary range. Again, this doesn’t work perfectly. The critical element is time, and I don’t want to slow up the process by any back and forth with a search firm. I would also point out that job leads are only listed for 2 weeks on our website.

The “currency” in public websites is the number of jobs they have posted. Long after they are beyond dead, they will still be there. Visible volume is the key.

Job leads are the bait that gets you to visit a website. The real money for them is in the “value added” services they provide. Go ahead, take them up on their free resume review. You will soon find out that your resume is terrible and that for a small price they can fix it.

While we can’t offer this service to the outside world, have you tried our very own Resume Review Committee headed up by Lew Bader and Cheri Phillips? ([email protected]) Although it would be nice if you made a donation in honor of the individual who helped you, it is not a requirement. We provide our service out of friendship.

Money to live on is very important. So is having a job. The false promise made by these organizations is that they can help you find another job in short order. May I suggest you save your money? No one can find you a job other than you. And, the primary solution set is networking, networking and more networking.

If you are truly having problems getting yourself focused and/or organized, may I suggest you contact one of your fellow members and ask for help? This is what we do for each other and the only price is your friendship. Find a neighbor and “buddy up.”

If you would like to contribute money to fund the clerical and out of pocket expenses of our network you may do so as follows:

Please make your check payable to: The Financial Executives Networking Group (The FENG)

And send it to:

Laurie Fan
Donations Coordinator
The Financial Executives Networking Group
25 Old Kings Highway N, Suite 13 #163
Darien, CT 06820-4608

Any amount you would like to contribute will be most appreciated. If you would like to donate by credit card, please go to our website and use our “Donate” button.

At least you know the money you send us won’t be going to waste. All of our area chairs including yours truly, Bruce Lynn and Marty Latman are volunteers. We donate our time to help one and all.

If each of you in your own way helps a few other members, at least the world of The FENG will be a better place. Remember, friends don’t let friends waste their money on job search websites of dubious value for services we can provide for each other.

Regards, Matt