I notice that there’s now a sponsored link on my LinkedIn home page that says – as an NUS alumnus – I can apply to join the “Prestigious ‘Bristol Who’s Who’ Registry”.

Unfortunately, given the plethora of “Who’s Who” registry scams that have existed since the dawn of commerce, I’m retaining a healthy skepticism about the “prestige” of being part of such registries – after all, the barriers to entry aren’t high (all I did was graduate from NUS: not exactly a world-changing achievement).

While there are respectable registries out there which serve to increase professional visibility, and help you build credible and useful business networks, how can you tell if it’s a legit directory, or a dubious one? A couple of questions come to mind:

What’s the criteria for nomination? And for what specific accomplishments? The Bristol’s Who’s Who “Member of the Year” recipients have included a copy supervisor who “plans to go into real estate”, a retired nurse who has no bio at all (so we’re not sure why he deserves to be nominated Member of Year in the first place), and an amusement ride inspection consultant who remains “open to new job opportunities”.

Did anyone else worthy of the name actually made the grade? For instance, I couldn’t find Goh Chok Tong and Tony Tan listed, both of whom are NUS alumni. I’m pretty certain that at any semi-functional job interview, they would probably pip me to the tape for the “Achievements” category. (and for any other category too, I’d imagine)

– Must I pay more for play? Under the website’s “Products and Services” page, they list a hardcover registry, a magazine writeup, and a press release writing service; all represented by badly cropped stock images (a huge flashing red light in my experience), instead of actual shots of anything real. As an additional inducement, “…Our professional engravers will laser inscribe your press release to a beautiful cherry wood desk piece to display in your office or at home.” I’m guessing this isn’t part of the free service.

Given my skepticism, perhaps I’m not really suitable for Bristol’s Who’s Who, after all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *