EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Meeting the RIGHT folks

From our daily member newsletter on July 31, 2008

Being successful at getting meetings with potential decision makers who don’t have a job right now, but who might make one for you after they meet you is why networking is the most successful approach to finding a job. Frankly, this is how most business is really done at our level. If you have only gotten interviews through ads or recruiters you are probably wondering how do those lucky dudes do it? How do they manage to get in front of the right people and sweet talk them into offering them a job? Keep in mind that you are not a pea in a pod. You are a unique accumulation of talents acquired over a number of years. If you [ Read more… ]

Time stands still

From our daily member newsletter on July 30, 2008

I can never understand why people hesitate contacting old friends. It has been one of the blessings in my life that over the 10+ years that I have been Chairing this august body, I have been able to reconnect with almost all of the people I worked with since the 1970’s. (Yes, I am that old.) I have even reconnected with some new friends that I have only known 10-20 years. My experience has been that anyone you have ever known is DELIGHTED to hear from you. This goes for old “enemies” as well. While you may have argued at length with some of these idiots (Did I say idiots? I meant uninformed individuals.), the “discussion” was actually about work. [ Read more… ]

Members in need of assistance

From our daily member newsletter on July 29, 2008

I am sure I don’t need to tell all of you that The FENG is a remarkable organization. It is also unusual in its tone. If I had to come up with two reasons why things are different in The FENG than in the rest of the world, I would start with the fact that EVERYONE in The FENG was sponsored for membership. Because we are a circle of friends and not a fee for service, many of the things that we do for each other have no price associated with them. After all, what price could one place on friendship or acts of friendship, and how would someone go about coming up with a price structure. (Such are the [ Read more… ]

Damaged goods

From our daily member newsletter on July 28, 2008

There was an article in The Wall Street Journal several years ago that made the following points: 1. The unemployed are damaged goods 2. Recruiters prefer finding those who are not actively seeking new jobs 3. Networking groups are of little value While to a degree I hesitate to take exception with this esteemed periodical, I must point out that the first two issues are not news. Anyone who has read John Lucht’s book “Rites of Passage” would already know that recruiters have an inherent prejudice against those who are unemployed and are generally speaking charged with stealing someone from a competitor. That’s why they get the “big bucks”. Hence, those who are unemployed are not really of interest because [ Read more… ]

By way of explanation

From our daily member newsletter on July 27, 2008

Whenever Doug Fine and I sit and review candidates for assignments being handled through The FECG, I can’t help but be disappointed by many of the cover letters we get. I know that those who are applying feel they are qualified for the job in question, and being a financial guy myself, I know you could do the job. (Hey, us financial types can do anything!) Although if you have the time, it can often make sense to modify your resume for a specific opportunity, more often than not there just isn’t time. So, what to do? Well, your cover letter is a perfect place to provide explanations for a variety of obvious questions that inquiring minds need answered. Let’s [ Read more… ]

Always take the high road

From our daily member newsletter on July 24, 2008

America is a great place, isn’t it? Everything is always someone else’s fault. I guess this is why Americans are so quick to sue. After all, we can’t take the blame for that which has happened to us. There were significant mitigating factors. Primarily due to, partially offset by. I’m sure you are familiar with the approach. All right, perhaps I shouldn’t have made those disparaging remarks about the way the boss dressed and how he always came in late, but I only mentioned it to most of his staff. And, I was only kidding. Actually, I am only kidding here. But, I thought I would make the point that it is human nature to come up with some explanation [ Read more… ]

Stale cigar smoke

From our daily member newsletter on July 23, 2008

In the movie Patton, George C. Scott explained why America was going to win the war. In brief, Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. As we do our best to achieve success in the job market, looking and acting like a winner can be difficult. It is just too easy to fall into the “misery loves company” mode. I hope you won’t allow yourself the luxury of falling into that trap. Although I live only a few miles from where we hold our meetings here in Connecticut, I always wear a suit or sport coat. The reason is that often times this is the first and only time that members meet me. As they say, you [ Read more… ]

You sure can rattle on

From our daily member newsletter on July 22, 2008

Breathing is a very important activity. And, during an interview, you should be doing a lot of it. The guideline we begin our lives with is the ever popular 90 second announcement. I hope that all of you have mastered this art form. The 90 second announcement is an important tool in your job search because you have so many opportunities to speak briefly with others and impart some wisdom about who you are and what you do. It is also the world’s best answer to that question that begins most interviews: Tell me about yourself. So, find lots of opportunities to practice your 90 second announcement. Primarily due to, partially offset by. Is there any question that we can [ Read more… ]

Computers are here to stay

From our daily member newsletter on July 21, 2008

I sometimes get the feeling from the format of e-mails I get and the strange formatting of resumes I see that there are those who believe computers are just a passing phase in our society. I don’t know how to break this to those of you who have been reluctant to “get with the program,” one of the measures of you on the part of those receiving your many missives is your computer knowledge. Perhaps “back on the block” (i.e. when you were working for the big corporation), you had someone to run your e-mail and underlings to develop spreadsheets to execute your many ideas. Well, to a large degree, those days are over for most of us. Even when [ Read more… ]

Call me a compulsive

From our daily member newsletter on July 20, 2008

Over the course of any given week I have the great honor of reviewing well over 100 resumes. Honestly, no one should be allowed to have this much fun.   As I page through the many approaches to presenting one’s credentials, I am frequently dismayed by the way that some of the most important information is presented.   Let me start by saying that I hate most abbreviations. The reason is quite simple. I usually have to stop and puzzle through what the abbreviation means in this context. I am sure the author was quite clear, but I am often left scratching my head.   I would rank educational credentials of great importance and I hope you do too. I [ Read more… ]

Donít go it alone

From our daily member newsletter on July 17, 2008

Job search is in many ways a unique experience.   In contrast to the world of work where we have had folks reporting to us and have had folks that we reported to, the world of job search can tend to be a lonely place.   Outplacement facilities with their rabbit warren of cubicles at first glance seem to place you with a lot of other people. There are classes to attend, and at least in my own experience with this kind of environment, you have others with whom you can have lunch and share experiences. Not a totally bad situation. But still, everyone is on a different track and when they find work or their time ends, they typically [ Read more… ]

Itís always better to be working

From our daily member newsletter on July 16, 2008

When I was growing up, my father was in the construction business. Being a plumbing contractor or a consultant or even a job seeker these days isn’t all that different with respect to finding what I call “work opportunities.”   I sense from talking to many members that there are those among us who at times can be more than a little picky about the assignments they are willing to take, despite the fact that they aren’t working AT ALL.   One of the many lessons I draw from my father’s experience is that some of the jobs you find are short term, some are more fun than others, and some pay better than others. Still, the need to have [ Read more… ]

Don't be lazy

From our daily member newsletter on July 15, 2008

Over the past few months I have been preparing our sailboat for our annual weeklong trip.   I take pretty good care of my boats, but still, there is always a maintenance list. This year, as is my practice, I went through each and every locker, removed everything and went through it item by item to see if I really needed it. It was a big job, but I am always amazed and astounded with the stuff I find. (Why did I buy that?)   It is easy to be lazy about things in your life. Since The FENG is about job search, I’ll focus for a minute on your resume. I figure most people practice their 90-second announcement a [ Read more… ]

All things to all people

From our daily member newsletter on July 14, 2008

It is a truth in this world that we get paid the most for doing something that is at the high end of our skill set.   For example, you would be willing to pay big bucks to a skilled surgeon to take out your appendix, but you would probably not be willing to let me take out your appendix at any price. Hence, the price you would be willing to pay me would probably be less than zero. Actually, I couldn’t even get the job.   If this is all true, then why is it that in the writing of our resumes we try to present ourselves as the ultimate solution to all problems? We may narrow the niche [ Read more… ]

A sharp pencil

From our daily member newsletter on July 13, 2008

There is no more powerful tool (after the membership directory for The FENG) than a sharp pencil.   I long ago declared war on unnecessary words. Why? Because they are unnecessary.   The normal space allotment for a resume is two pages. Okay, if you have to go to three I might be able to live with it, but generally two is the limit.   It is not much space to describe the accomplishments of a lifetime, but you are making a mistake if you think it is necessary to describe each and every thing you have done. If you are as old as the hills (or dirt itself) like most of us, there are adventure stories you could tell [ Read more… ]

Eating elephants

From our daily member newsletter on July 10, 2008

Elephants sure are big, aren’t they? And, with their tough skin, is it any wonder that eating one is so difficult? I guess the first part is getting the elephant to cooperate so you can skin him/her and cut him/her into steaks. Well, they probably don’t taste very good anyway. Besides, the elephant we are going to discuss eating tonight isn’t actually food anyway. Yes, it is The FENG membership directory! This incredible power tool for effective networking is just waiting for you to take it apart and digest it. And, I know you have been dying to do it ever since you became a member. But Matt, you cry, it is over 3,000 pages of 8 point type. If [ Read more… ]

Lost at sea

From our daily member newsletter on July 9, 2008

It has only been since about the time of the American Revolution that sailors have had the technology available to find their exact location on the face of the earth. Although determining your latitude was possible (those are the lines that run around the middle of the earth like the equator), knowing your longitude or how far East or West you were, was simply not possible.   What sailors did before that time was sail down to the appropriate latitude and then sail East or West and hope they didn’t arrive at a landfall in the middle of the night or in a storm. Alas, this happened all the time and many lives were lost. If you would like to [ Read more… ]

Human interaction

From our daily member newsletter on July 8, 2008

Sailors are a naturally friendly lot. (Yes, another sailing analogy!) As one of the other couples my wife and I met at a marina pointed out, it would be considered more than a little strange to go to a motel or hotel and start introducing yourself to other people and ask them if they wanted to join you and your wife for dinner at some restaurant. Yet, sailors do it all the time. When you “blow in” from another harbor you have so many stories to tell and they are harder to share with those who haven’t been through what you have just been through. If it was windy and both of you were hanging on for dear life, you [ Read more… ]

No right answers

From our daily member newsletter on July 7, 2008

As a part of my frequent “joys of sailing” ideas, I thought I would talk about docks around Long Island Sound. Although one can drag anchor, one rarely drags dock. (A little sailing joke for you.) Sure, it is a rather arcane topic, but hopefully it is one that you can use to amaze and astound your friends. You would think that docking arrangements everywhere would be pretty much the same. After all, you have a boat, you have water, and you need to tie it up for the night. Well, you would be very wrong. The truth is that just about every place you go is a little different. Some marinas have pilings you have to snag on your [ Read more… ]

Donít forget your business cards

From our daily member newsletter on July 2, 2008

I assume that most folks will not be working a full day in the office tomorrow. Hopefully, neither will I. I just thought I would remind everyone that holiday time is networking time. Those family and friend get togethers this time of year are great networking events. While it would probably be bad form to bring copies of your resume, there is nothing to stop you from bringing business cards and from chatting about your career with those you meet. While the family may know how to reach you, their many friends who might be attending won’t. Business cards are in some respects a gift. When you hand someone your business card, they are sort of obligated to give you [ Read more… ]

Just showing up

From our daily member newsletter on July 1, 2008

There are several folks who claim credit for it, but one of the things I have been heard to say from time to time that I didn’t make up is that “90% of life is just showing up.” (Okay, perhaps it is only 89%. Whatever!) As we begin the months of the well respected summer doldrums, I would ask all of you who are around when meetings are taking place of our various chapters and special interest groups to make a special effort to show up, especially if you RSVP for a meeting. I have to tell you that setting up a meeting requires a lot of hours on behalf of our many hard working chapter and SIG chairs, and [ Read more… ]

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