EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I have always been a keen observer of managers. One of my favorites was a gentleman who worked at the Thomson Corporation in a senior financial role.

He was one of those tall wiry types who always seemed to be in motion even when he was standing still. Sort of like your favorite basketball coach. (He also talked loud most of the time like he was trying to be heard over a crowd. But, I digress.)

Anyway, one of my favorite discussions he held was at a meeting shortly after I met him when he discoursed at length on the good old 80/20 rule. (He also talked about giving him a 20,000 foot review of your areas of responsibility, but with a high powered telescope. But, we will save that analogy for another night.)

The 80/20 rule is a good one to apply to aspects of your job search. As you look at your resume and practice your 90-second announcement, you should give thought to what are the most important parts and make sure you get them right.

I was discussing resumes recently with one of our members, and I mentioned to him that it seemed to me that the first cut in sorting out candidates for assignments didn’t seem to require a focus on those achievements that everyone seems to slave over, but rather on location 50% of the time and 25% on industry.

The point is that before anyone studies your detailed accomplishments, they are most of the way there with just location and industry. If you don’t “fit” those two, they usually stop reading.

We are all aware of the “local candidates preferred” thing. It is only to be expected in any market. Why relocate someone when you don’t have to?

The industry one is stickier to assess because often times it isn’t obvious. If you download the model resumes on our website, especially the one created by Rich Wieland, you will see that for each firm Rich has written a line or two about what they do. Sure makes it easy. (Perhaps too easy!)

So the goal I suggest for everyone is to consider this very important 80/20 rule.

What do you think is the equivalent issue in a 90-second announcement? My general thinking is that it is your areas of expertise and claims to fame. If you tell me you are an advertising guy (my background), I am going to be sure to say hello and “talk advertising” with you when the networking part of the meeting starts. In addition, some outrageous claims to fame could very well shake me out of my fear of public speaking as I am waiting for my turn to come and actually get me to listen to you.

So there you have it. Simplicity itself. While everyone else is trying to get the spreadsheet of their lives to tie out to the nearest penny, you are rounding to thousands and better off for it.

(Maybe accounting is a metaphor for life after all.)

Regards, Matt

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