You have a meeting with a woman who works at your dream company in one hour. You’ve never met her before—all you know is that her support could seriously help your chances of getting an in with Company X.

You had the best intentions of researching her prior to the meeting. But this isn’t the first—or even the 10th—informational interview you’ve had in the past two weeks, and time got away from you.

Now, imagine that someone hands you a perfectly crafted dossier that includes the woman’s work history, recent accomplishments, passions, and professional strengths.

You just went from, “How was your weekend?” to “I hear you like the Red Sox—did you see that last game?” and from, “How quickly is your company growing?” to “Congrats! I saw you guys just won an industry award.”

While this may be a hypothetical situation, the dossier is a reality. Charlie is an app that will comb through the sources you would normally research to prep for a meeting—including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, news sites, blogs, and company databases—to compile a one-pager on the people you’re scheduled to meet with on Google Calendar. This information arrives in your inbox one hour before the meeting, so you have just enough time to look it over, but not so much time you’ll forget what it says.

If something big just happened in your contact's professional life, you’ll know. If he or she has had five jobs in the past 10 years—or just one in the past 15—you’ll know. If he or she has any common interests, LinkedIn connections, or Twitter followers, you’ll know that too. Basically, anything relevant? You’ll know it.

There’s nothing more impressive than walking into a room and looking like you’ve done your research (even though Charlie did it for you). Plus, by having tons of conversation fodder, you can redirect the attention back to the person you’re talking to, one of the cardinal rules of good networking.

With this app up your sleeve, you’ll be on your way to making major—more meaningful—connections.


Photo of people talking courtesy of Shutterstock.