EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

If asked, I would be the first person to suggest that posted job leads are not where you need to focus your energies. That said, anytime you do respond to one, it pays to take a few minutes and actually read the posting and see what the requirements are.

No, I am not talking about the job requirements themselves. After the first few sections you know whether or not the job is “you.” Still, you might want to give it a hard read with respect to must haves if for no other reason than to ensure you are sending the right resume if you have several versions. And, if it is “spot on” your background, it may even pay to take the time to do a little customizing.

However, what I am actually talking about tonight is the need to read and read carefully all of the response requirements. There are important issues here such as who the person is that you should be writing to, and if it isn’t “Sir or Madam,” you are foolish to ruin your chances totally by not properly addressing your missive.

Since I consider myself to be everyone’s good friend, it would be nice if everyone noticed that there is only one “d” in Bud, and that my first name is Matt, not Mat. I frequently end up with two of one and one of two. It is a small matter perhaps, but it shows your attention to detail, and last time I checked, paying close attention to detail is part and parcel of being CFO of a company. The ability to read those footnotes going to the SEC and make sure there are no typos in that prospectus would seem to be very important.

In the arena of being “overly precise” I also recommend using upper case and lower case as appropriate. I hope you notice that I always present my e-mail address as MattBud@TheFENG.org. The upper case and lower casing isn’t there because it is needed. It is there to enhance readability. You see, I actually want you to be able to reach me.

The one that drives me crazy is attached files. My simple convention, is for you to rename that opus of yours LastNameFirstName.doc. Notice it isn’t lastnamefirstname.doc. If you are going to go to the trouble of renaming your file, why not take a moment and “dress it up” a bit? Go the extra mile, or in this case the extra inch or two and try to make a good impression on me.

But, back to the topic of reading and following directions. If you can’t follow simple directions, why do you think you will be considered? If the instructions say provide your salary requirements and you don’t provide them, what do you think will happen? If you are thinking they are going to call you to find out, think again. Left with a puzzle, they may not even read your resume.

Any special explanations they appear to need, you might want to take a minute and provide that information. Why? Because, it may be the only chance you have to get into the pile they send to their client.

If you can’t take the time to follow the response directions, I have to ask why you are even responding. Job leads are in and of themselves a long shot. You are in a competition with a lot of other individuals who are also conducting a passive job search. And, the competition is fierce.

So, be careless or thoughtless about the requirements others have set out, but don’t be expecting them to do you any favors, like actually reading your resume.

The ability to read and follow directions is an important and relevant skill for us financial types.

Regards, Matt

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