EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I often wonder if people really want to be found.

It ranges from the lack of an outgoing signature with your FULL contact information on the emails I receive to answering machines that repeat your phone number when I call, but don’t indicate whose phone it is. The latest wrinkle is not putting a physical address on your resume.

I’m not sure what to make of all of these obstacles people put in front of others trying to reach them.

There apparently is a major outplacement firm recommending the deletion of home addresses. The fear is identity theft.

While I would never recommend you put your date of birth and/or your Social Security number on your resume, I feel very strongly that not providing a full address is going to make your resume look very strange. If they pass a law that everyone has to remove this information, fine. But, until they do, I think you make yourself look silly. For most of us who want to be found and don’t have unlisted phone numbers, all you have to do is type your name into Google and you will find that a lot of your contact information comes up pretty easily. If you are going to live in fear of identity theft from posting your resume or submitting it for potential opportunities, I fear you are also sentencing yourself to a long period of unemployment.

When it comes to tracking people down, I sort of have an advantage in that many of you have very kindly provided me with several points of contact. When you want me to call, even if you don’t have an outgoing signature, I put my secret decoder ring to work, figure out who you are and then try ALL the phone numbers you have given me until I reach you. When you have sent a resume, I often find that not all your points of contact are there. If you have a cell phone, I suggest listing it. I know it can be a pain in the neck getting a cell phone call when you are out, but it just may be a golden opportunity knocking, and as you know, they often don’t knock twice.

What I would suggest is that you not only write to yourself from time to time and see what your correspondence looks like, but that you also call your phones and see if you really think the message you recorded when you first set them up is what you want to have as your first introduction to someone whose call you have missed. If all you are giving is your phone number, trust me, I would somehow feel more reassured that I have reached the right person if you announced your name. If you are still using the “system” message, you ought to think what that says about your technological proficiency.

I still get members who ask: “What is an outgoing signature?” Have you considered using the help function in your email program? “Outgoing signature” or “signature” will bring up all the information you need about how to set it up.

You need to decide if you want to make it easy or hard for others to reach you. If you want to be lonely, I would make it tough. Most people will give up after the first try. If you want to be one of the more popular folks on this good earth, I wouldn’t suggest setting up a series of high hurdles.

Who knows, it might be someone with a check for $1 million dollars for you. (That is, if they can reach you.)

Regards, Matt

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