EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I’m not sure if all of you are aware of it, but The FENG is driven off of the ONE database we maintain of your directory listings. Our RSVP system and The FENG Forum all derive their usefulness from being driven off this primary source of information and never have to be synchronized.

Here at world headquarters, we have many sneaky ways of keeping your directory listings current. For example, every message you write to me or to one of our administrative staffers is checked against your directory listing. That is why I preach frequently about your having an outgoing signature. It allows me to ensure that you will remain properly connected to your fellow members. We also have a program of surveying by chapter several times a year to encourage you to visit our website and complete an update. By phasing our update requests over the year, we aren’t at any time totally buried and can manage the process. No database, once constructed, is ever completely accurate or up to date every again. It is a sad fact of life for database managers.

As a practical matter, it isn’t possible to maintain multiple databases as identical unless you copy one from the other from time to time. When I go on a trip, I simply copy all of my relevant folders, in total, to my laptop. I’m sure all of you who have iPhones are delighted with the simplicity of iCloud for your calendar. I know I am.

These are many other problems in running The FENG, but I won’t further bore you with all the mechanics in this editorial.

The purpose of this editorial actually is to advise all of you with profiles on the Internet of the need to ensure consistency in all of your published materials. In the hurly burly of conducting a job search, it is often difficult to read and reread your own resume some weeks to ensure it is consistent with your current thinking let alone that it is consistent with other sources.

If you have a Facebook AND a LinkedIn profile, you better make darn sure that you haven’t uploaded any inconsistencies. No search professional in today’s world who is responsible for vetting candidates can risk ignoring all of the publicly available sources that can be easily found on the Internet. You also need to be thinking if anything you have uploaded might be embarrassing.

What I am suggesting is that in addition to checking all your profiles anytime you make a change to your resume, you also need to Google your name and see what is out there about you. To quote Sir Walter Scott: ”Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

If you modify your titles to downgrade or to upgrade your experience to better fit a position description, is it possible your actual title is somewhere in cyberspace?

What is worse is that people know people. When it gets down to crunch time and they are speaking with your references, be aware that they may contact someone not on your list and send them your resume. It is just too easy to do in today’s electronic world.

It would be a real shame if at the 11th hour plus 59 minutes and 59 seconds you were not offered a job because your real title 20 years ago was Manager and not Director.

These are the risks you are exposed to in our interconnected world. My suggestion is to keep your “databases” consistent by always being honest.

And no, I didn’t chop down that cherry tree.

Regards, Matt

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