You can also read my post 10 business card mistakes you might be making.
Before you leave an event or end a conversation, hand out your business card and express your wish to keep in touch. This will often prompt people to reciprocate by sharing their own business card, too. Having a business card available helps you appear professional and prepared. Plus, unlike a resume, it’s easy to carry business cards around at all times. Read on to find out more about what information to have on your business card, as well as where to get them.
Whether you are attending a job fair, a career networking event, or meeting a contact one-on-one, it’s a good idea to have a career focused business card, so it’s easy for people you meet to follow up with you.
And yes it does help your network (immensely) to have a clear and tangible picture of how they can help you. It is the difference between someone engaging in your situation and someone separating from you (because they don’t feel empowered).
I created some simple networking business card templates along with instructions to do it and added it to my career downloads page. You can still find it there today. I also incorporated the auto-development of your business cards in the new job search strategy software. It’s one of six different marketing documents the software auto-creates once the data is provided by you.
It’s a good idea to use a template or hire a professional designer for your business card. Most sites that print business cards have templates available. Here are a few design guidelines to keep in mind:
For many career fields, a link to a portfolio site can be an effective way to showcase designs, writing, or other projects which will prove to prospective employers that you have the right stuff for your target job. Whichever link you choose to include on your business card, make sure it’s short and easy to type into a browser.
Back in 2009 I created a basic template for a networking business card called the Flashcard™ (see the original sample on the left). I called it that because it allowed you to communicate important information to your network “in a flash”.
Think of your tagline or top skills as being like your elevator speech. You want to share a quick look at your skills and background, and help people remember you once they’re back in the office after an event.
Leave plenty of white space: There is a lot of information you can include, but it’s important not to clutter your card. Leave plenty of white space, so it’s easy to read. Think about what information will present your candidacy most effectively before you start designing a business card.
It’s a template that I thought was very productive and smart based on the critical need to communicate and reinforce your specific job search objectives. It makes your networking so much more productive.
There are plenty of low-cost, even free, options for getting business cards printed. Some of the most popular online options for low-cost business cards are Moo, Zazzle, Overnight Prints, and Vistaprint. Most companies offer templates, which help steer you through the process and ensure that you wind up with a readable, well-designed option.
Today’s job seekers have the opportunity to present more than just the basic contact information traditionally included with business cards. A business card provided by your employer will include your name, job title, employer, phone number, and email address.
I honestly don’t know how many people have downloaded the original networking business card template and how many have used it, but I see them around town. Maybe someone handed you one or something like it?
For your own personal business card, you can leave off your job title and employer. Instead, of a job title, include a broad description of your work, such as writer, accountant, marketing professional, designer, etc.
Anyway, below are two recent examples of the networking business card created based on the template. Two folks I’ve met with locally who needed some help getting more targeted with their objectives and the documents to better communicate those objectives.
Some job seekers include a tagline on the second side of their card like “A technology consultant with a cutting-edge grasp of networking strategies and a proven record of completing projects on time and within budget.” Others will use the back side of the card to list three to five key skills or knowledge assets which they offer to employers.
If you use a two-sided card, you will be able to include additional information and avoid cluttering the front of the card.
Thanks to Robert and Dustin for sharing their examples. So far they are getting great feedback on their clear objectives and the cards that describe them. Dustin’s cards were laid out by Sandy Perez of Smart Levels.
Networking Business Card Example #1 Networking Business Card Example #2
You can also include a QR code which can be scanned by a smartphone and is linked to a website URL so the viewer can get more information.
Incorporating the address of your LinkedIn Profile provides the opportunity to showcase accomplishments and recommendations. A link to a business-oriented personal website can also convey professional information.
Consider a headshot: While it’s generally not recommended to include a photo on your resume, it is appropriate to include your photo on your business card. The decision is up to you, but note that including a photo may help people recall your conversation later on (faces can be easier to remember than names).
Just be sure to use a professional image: the photo you use for your LinkedIn profile is a great option. Keep the design clean and simple: Opt for a standard font, and avoid using several fonts on your business card.
Use a reasonable, readable font size — too small, and people will have difficulty reading your business card. QR Codes on Business Cards
Keep business cards on hand even if you’re not attending a job search-focused event. Networking can happen anywhere: You might meet helpful contacts during parties, on trips, or at other social events.
By the way, if you need some examples of poor job search objectives, watch the short video below. How do you answer the “What are you looking for” question?
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith Tags: business card | Business Card Examples | Job Search | Networking Business Card Categories: Marketing Materials
Google “free business cards” for a list of companies that will give you free cards, but be aware there may be a fee for shipping and for add-ons. You can also find free templates online. Another option is retail stores like Staples where you can get help with the design as well as printing.