'Who's Who' ripoff preys on your ego

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http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3417/3396540397_009a24dcac.jpgI must be really important, because two "Who's Who" publications have chosen me for inclusion in their publications. The e-mails arrived in my mailbox this week.

They read, "Recently you were selected as an inductee into Who's Who. In spite of this, we have yet to receive your information in order to build your basic membership profile. In the business and professional world it isn't what you know, it's who you know...and who knows you. Social and business networking is the modern standard in developing relationships throughout the world. The potential for recognition and developing networks within a community of 400,000 working professionals in numerous fields on a global scale is unlimited."

Interesting. I didn't know I was that prestigious. I decided to bite and signed up at their website to see what would happen. So far? Nothing. It says on the site that "basic membership" is FREE. But there is no explanation as to what this includes and what the other options are.

I have seen this types of periodicals before. They send you a congratulatory e-mail or letter informing you that you are included in a "Who's Who" because you are so important. Then they urge you to buy a copy of the book to show your friends, your co-workers, and your mother. These can range from $19.95 on up.

Here's the problem. No one really cares if you are listed in "Who's Who." Really, they don't. It basically means nothing and does not credential you to do anything. And most professionals know that you are simply paying to be included.

Save your money. Go to school instead and get a real credential.

Barbara Bartlein is the People Pro. For her FREE e-mail newsletter, please visit: The People Pro.
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