- Edit your resume. In fact, have two other people edit your resume. Fix the spelling mistakes, the typos and the really bad grammar. I am not asking you to write a good resume. Just make sure that the one you put in front of me doesnt force me to get my red pen out and channel my inner English teacher. Putting accomplishments instead of duties and tasks on your resume will earn you bonus points. Help me understand what you can do to help me and my business.
- Get a real email address. It can be a Yahoo or even a Hotmail address. I do not want to receive emails from HotMamaXXX@yahoo.com though. Get serious. Create a more professional account name. Use HotMama to im your girlfriends. Just don't email me with it. You'll look like a slacker.
- Dress professionally. Wear a suit. Men...wear ties. Collect some cans and buy one from Wal-Mart if you must. Borrow one. Even if it is out of style. I'll think you are trying to be "retro". Shoes are a must. No sneakers. No workboots. 18" of snow is not a reason to wear your Eddie Bauer moon boots. You are trying to impress me. Don't roll in here wearing cargo pants and Skechers. You'll look like a slacker.
- Get a real handshake. When you shake my hand, give me a nice firm but not a crushing grip. Ladies, do NOT give me the thumb and tips of your fingers. This isn't Victorian England and you are not the Duchess of Webster. When you do shake my hand, LOOK ME IN THE EYE! Do not give me the look away. We are attempting to build a relationship, you and I, and if you can't bring yourself to look at me, then I cannot trust you. I am not that hideous. You may gaze upon me and not turn to stone.
- Look at my website. I don't need you to do a comprehensive search for everything ever committed to print about me and my company. But I do expect you to read the "About Us" page on the website. Bonus points if you know a little something about the industry. The first question I am going to ask is: "What do you know about us?" Have an answer.
- Have some questions to ask me. Be interested in my pain. When I ask you if you have any questions for me, make something up if you have to. Ask me where I bought my tie. If you don't have questions, you will seem un-interested and I will think you are a slacker.
- Write a thank you note. After you meet with someone, send them a note of thanks for their time. You don't even have to reiterate your expertise and tell me how much your skills and experiences relate to my business needs. Even though that helps. Just a simple thank you note.
If you follow these steps, I am not saying that you will land a CEO position out of highschool. I will guarantee you a decent shot at a gig though. Unless of course, you run into a hiring manager that doesn't have a clue either. At which point you are assured of a position.