It’s a delicate dance, this networking tango. Everyone knows you are looking for a job, but you don’t want to put anyone on the spot, particularly if they aren’t currently hiring, because then why would they meet with you? Yet these introductory meetings are worthwhile even if the person doesn’t have an opening — you can learn a lot, gain new perspectives and meet new people — and doing all this may lead to a job if one opens up.
Viewed in that way, I’d just be straightforward and honest. Absolutely send your resume in advance, explaining that you thought it might be helpful to give them some context and summary of your background in advance.
Never ask if they are hiring, but do mention that if they come across an opportunity that might be appropriate to please keep you in mind.
Dear Greg, My wife and I work together in a small family business, and while we have a great marriage, we have an awful work relationship. We don’t agree on how to run the business and the tension is affecting the relationship at home. I’m technically the boss of the business and run it day to day. So my question is: How do I fire my wife?