EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I often get the feeling from talking with members about their job search, that many of you are reluctant to use our Member Directory Search feature to full advantage as part of your job search. I only wish I understood why.

The FENG membership directory is honestly the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It is a gold mine to all who delve into its many mysteries. It is a research tool and a resource that probably has no equal in the civilized world. (There I go again understating the value of our membership directory.) All other professions can eat their hearts out. Members of The FENG have agreed to open their good offices to one another, and they do.

Let me be clear that job search is a finite problem. Draw a big circle around your home town or your industry and there are only a finite number of companies that fit your parameters. If you live or wish to live in a major metropolitan area, I will admit that the finite number can be very large, but there are lots of ways to narrow the scope in short order.

The individuals you select using our Member Directory Search feature, can be downloaded only as Word documents for your protection. Because they are Word documents, it is simply not possible to use data from these directories in a mail merge program and bomb your fellow members. Every record has a different number of fields preventing them from being converted to Excel or any other database program. While there are those desperate souls who have tried bombing their fellow members, all have been reported to me in short order and given a quick 2×4 upside the head for being silly. Everything about The FENG is personal and mass mail is not in keeping with our traditions or folkways, so don’t do it.

We share a lot of valuable information in our directory that you can use to zero in on others appropriate to your search. Each directory listing has not only your fellow member’s points of contact, but also their prior company affiliations, special interest groups and also chapters. Although the Member Directory Search feature limits you to 100 results, you may download all the searches you like to your hard drive, so don’t hold back.

If you have an interview at any company that has been in business for more than 15 minutes, you should always visit our website and see who has worked there. Each member’s work history appears in reverse chronological order, so if you see your target company near their college education, you can assume that is a very old experience. You can still call them, but it may not be as relevant as someone with this company nearer the beginning.

If the search you are doing is yielding more than 100 results, you can try to narrow your networking list by clicking on multiple chapters or special interest groups. For example, if you are a manufacturing type in Chicago, look up Manufacturing with Chicago turned on. If that’s too big, turn on Manufacturing and High Technology. In the alternate, you can run Active and Alumni members separately.

Now let’s not get overly demanding with your fellow members. On any given day, some of them may not be able to come out and play. Some of them may not feel they can help you given your cover note and attached resume. Some of them may actually be busy with their own lives (how selfish!) and not get back to you. But trust me, you will get more than a sufficient response to get you on your way to success.

If you prefer to play with strangers, please have at it, but I think you will find that our pledge of mutual friendship within our august body is a real and not an imagined condition. Most of us have known the pain of being unemployed and all of us accept that we are never employed, we are just between searches.

If we expect others to help us in our times of need, then by gosh, we have to do what we can do when others need our assistance. It is a small price to pay for the security our organization provides to us.

So, have at it and have fun doing it. We spend most of your donations keeping the directory up to date. I hope you won’t allow that money to go to waste. (See, I am trying to appeal to your inner accountant.)

Regards, Matt

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