Prepare for an informational or networking meeting as if it were an interview.
You only have one chance to make a first impression. We’ve all heard this a million times but remember it well. Picture this: You are meeting a referral of a friend for a cup of coffee in his company cafeteria. You are dressed very casually because you are on your way to a sporting event following the meeting. You have a pad to take notes but no resumes with you. Why would you? The purpose of this meeting is to gather information and hopefully get a few referrals of additional people with whom you can speak. You and your referral’s friend – let’s call him Michael – are hitting it off really well when Michael’s boss walks by. Michael calls out to him because he thinks his boss may be hiring. Michael’s boss stops to meet you and has a few minutes to sit down and speak with you. He asks for your resume. You don’t have one with you. And there you sit, wishing you had dressed appropriately for an interview with resumes in your portfolio. An opportunity missed.