EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Stop me if I am wrong, but I always thought that financial folks were known for their attention to detail. Aren’t we known as total compulsives, or did I miss something?

Sad to say, but it apparently isn’t true.

Most of my daily communication is from fellow financial executives and I am continually appalled at the mistakes of all kinds that I see in what they send me.

I was reviewing candidates for one of my assignments for The FECG recently and I couldn’t believe how many email cover letters had no information at all, had no subject, didn’t follow directions on the file naming convention I request, or had cover letters attached that began “Dear Sir or Madam.”

You’ll forgive me, but these opportunities were all published in our very own newsletter under my name. I may be a lot of things, but I am definitely not a “Madam,” (although I would be willing to grant the “Sir” part as correct under certain circumstances.)

I could be wrong, but I was pretty sure that reading was a required course in college. And, we have all been drilled over the years on the issue of “reads and follows directions.”

Now I know some of you are rebels out there and bridle at convention, but there are times to follow the crowd and times to be an independent thinker. This is not the time to invent new ways of doing things.

If I go by the theory that mailings to me (who I hope all of you know and love) are typical of how you are handling the other postings in our newsletter, I can see we have a few problems.

While you are free to “click and shoot” Internet leads you see on public websites where NO ONE’S name is given, it is not appropriate to behave in this manner on leads provided by members of The FENG where hard won personal relationships may be at stake.

I am also a little concerned that our very popular and extremely effective “qualified members only” approach to postings is not being closely followed either. Please keep in mind that to the degree you “buy a lottery ticket,” you are limiting the possibility that those who post with us will come back for more punishment, AND you are making it more difficult for the right member of our august body (who may not have presented his credentials well as he might) to be identified due to the volume.

I try my best to read between the lines, but it is hard when you get a large response.

Just as I would expect that the columns on spreadsheets you might send me total to the right numbers and tie out to other numbers in your workbook, so too do I expect that any correspondence you might send to ANYONE has been checked for spelling errors, grammar and punctuation. If you need to, write anything important in Word and then cut and paste it into your emails.

We want everyone to know that the members of The FENG are as precise in their communications as you can expect them to be in the work they are going to do for the companies that hire them.

As you know, a reputation is hard won and easily lost. It has been a long uphill struggle establishing the credentials of our circle of friends. Help us maintain this image by reviewing your outgoing messages before you click send.

Who knows, it might even help your candidacy for that next great opportunity. (Selfish motives work for me too!)

Regards, Matt

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