EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Every once in a while I get a note from one of our members about folks who are promising to find him/her a job by waving their magic wand.

I can almost see these so called miracle workers crawling out from under the rocks they call home. You would think that exposure to sunlight would kill them, but like cockroaches, nothing seems to permanently destroy them.

Personally, I find it reprehensible that there are organizations in the world who try to sell lifejackets to people who are drowning, especially when the lifejackets don’t even work.

If you don’t believe me that (almost) all of them are a bunch of thieves, I would invite you to Google the names of their firms and the names of all of the individuals they say are connected to the firm. If you don’t find any outstanding arrest warrants on them, most likely you will at least find more than a few complaints pending.

If you have been considering the services of one of these organizations, please don’t feel foolish. They are professional con artists and very good at what they do, which is primarily to separate you from your money.

Let me examine for you some of the elements of the scam. First is an offer to rewrite your marketing materials such as your resume and cover letter. May I suggest you get a good book instead? There are 100’s of them out there and I doubt that any of them will set you back more than $50. Most likely you can get a few of them for $50. Think about how you learned accounting. My guess is that you had a textbook or two. Learning how to write a good resume and cover letter isn’t something you are born knowing, but it is an important skill that you need for the rest of your working career. Don’t get lazy on me and turn responsibility for these important communications over to someone else.

I am not suggesting that your resume and cover letters don’t need a lot of work. Most of the ones I see need serious help. But for the most part, it is the kind of help you can get from friends and networking contacts. Don’t be bashful. Ask for help improving your most important documents. The improvement in your writing skills from this exercise will prove beneficial in everything else you do over the rest of your career.

The second primary promise is proprietary databases. Need I remind all of you that you have at your fingertips the world’s largest database of friendly senior financial executives in the ENTIRE world? With our Member Directory Search feature, you can contact someone who has worked at almost every firm in the United States that was in business long enough to file a yearend tax return. Here is an astounding fact: There are only 500 firms in the Fortune 500. There are also only 1,000 firms in the Inc. 1000 Fastest Growing Companies. Where exactly are these firms coming up with companies to contact that you couldn’t contact on your own? And even if we assume they have a “secret” list that they are marketing to, do you really think that their messages are well received?

The third promise that is often made is to cold call firms on your behalf. If they are so smart to know who you should be calling, why don’t you? I know it may not seem this way at times, but the world is a finite place. In any geographic area or industry, there are only so many firms. And, with The FENG in your corner you could network into those firms on your own. Let’s see, do you think the personal recommendation of someone who worked at the firm or knew someone at the firm would be better than an idiot placement agency to get you in front of a hiring manager? (I hope you appreciate that I only ask easy questions.)

Friends, networking and job search are very difficult activities. They are frustrating. You go through highs and lows. But, it isn’t necessary to empty your bank account to have an effective job search campaign.

For those of you who have not gotten off your duffs and visited our website and basked in the glory and joy of using our Member Directory Search feature, take a risk and check it out. It is a powerful tool. I promise it won’t cause your computer to blow up or your eyes to spin around in your head. What it will do is cause you to become a networking maniac.

Sorry, but there is no cure for this condition. And, unfortunately, it will ultimately cause you to find another job and you’ll have to get back to work and become an alumni member.

Regards, Matt

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