11 Quick Ways to Make a Lasting Impression in the Business World

04/16/2015 02:10 pm ET | Updated Jun 16, 2015

Whether you apply for a job that's full-time, part-time or temporary, small details leave a big impression.

That's because competition is tough, even for temporary and contract positions. The American Staffing Association (ASA) found staffing firms created 11,400 jobs in March 2015, up 5.3 percent from March 2014.

I spoke with Richard Wahlquist, the president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association, about what it takes to land a job, temporary or otherwise.

"Because many businesses are still coming out of the recession, owners are highly selective about who they bring on," Wahlquist told me. "They want to make sure the person matches exactly what the company needs."

Wahlquist believes:

  • A résumé should be one page and include active verbs (e.g., "directed," "improved" and "achieved")
  • Your work experience should be in a clean, bulleted list
  • Many people forget that staffing firms offer free career coaching services as well as help with job placement

Go to the ASA website for job search tips and to find a staffing company in your area.

Here are 11 more small ways to make your mark in the business world.

1. Introduce yourself before someone else has to introduce you.

Otherwise, a person has to say, "Oh, sorry. This is my friend Jenn. I should have introduced her already."

Stick out your hand and say, "Hi, I'm Jenn. Nice to meet you." Then beam with confidence.

2. Ask a question based on your last conversation.

When you run into someone you haven't seen in a while, ask about something you recall from the last interaction.

"Hey, a few months ago you told me you were preparing for the big presentation at the national conference. How did it go?"

The person will feel like a million bucks. Maybe a billion.

3. Say, "I agree," not, "I don't disagree."

It's OK to let other people be right.

4. State your full name and purpose when you make a business phone call.

Too many people call a company and say something like, "Hi, is Steve there?"

Then the person needs to respond with, "Can I tell Steve who's calling?"

Begin with something like, "Hi, I'm Jackie Reynolds, and I'm looking for Steve so we can follow up on the Anderson account."

Prepare your intro before you dial the number. It'll help.

5. Bring several (at least five) printed résumés to a job interview.

Enough for the boss and anyone else you might meet. It looks impressive.

6. Pick a follow-up question rather than launch into a "me" answer.

The person says, "We just finished with the Lambert account. Boy, that was a tough one."

Then you say, "Why was it tough?" and not, "Yeah, that reminds me of my own clients...."

Keep the focus on other people. Again, it's impressive.

7. Update people on the status of your project -- even if they don't expect an update.

Give people peace of mind, and they will respect you for it.

8. In the job interview, be curious about the employer's own career.

Before you dive into what you're all about and the job you want, pose a question that shows you thought hard about the other person's background.

For example, "I read that you worked for 11 years in marketing for a minor league baseball team. What are some of the craziest promotions you ever staged?"

9. "I'll do it."

The one sentence that takes anyone from a face in the crowd to a bona fide leader.

10. When a person connects you to someone else via email, offer to drop them from the chain.

After the introduction, the "connector" doesn't need to hang around. So politely remove him/her.

It might seem like a minor courtesy, but the "connector" will remember it.

11. Treat every day like a "temp" situation.

Prove yourself. Earn your place.

And tomorrow, do it all again.

Do you think people should say, "I don't disagree"? Share below!