Dad’s lesson: Do your homework.

I was thinking about my work as a recruiter and remembered a lesson my father taught me many years ago. I was a senior in college and asked him if he had any advice before going to a couple important job interviews.

“Do your homework before you meet them, know something positive about the company that the interviewer may not know.”  My father wanted me make a good impression, stand-out in a good way, to do more.

Today the contents of a library are available on your smart phone. My best clients know I am interested in their businesses. I researched one client and learned the CEO holds several patents in his industry. I incorporated that into a conversation with him and prospective candidates. With another I pointed out career path similarities with two candidates and the company president. They were both hired. I learned the CEO’s five-year plan from a client’s annual report and pointed out how a particular candidate can help achieve his vision. Believe me, it can help!

It doesn’t matter if you are going for an interview, making an important presentation, or preparing for a conversation with an old client. Let them know you do a little more, that  you work a little harder, know more about them, their company and their goals then the other guy.

It can make the difference between average and exceptional.

Thanks Dad, I heard you.