Most people tend to think that a business card is primarily for the “employed.” Why? The card lists your company, your title, company number and address. If you are unemployed, you are probably thinking why have a business card? What would be the purpose?
Job searching not only involves Internet work, but face to face networking as well. Getting out and meeting people will be the key to successfully finding your next job. So how do you get people to remember your name after the meet and great? A professional looking business card works perfectly.
Depending upon your line of attack, a business card can run the gamut from expensive – embossed with multiple colors and beautiful script – to the plain and ordinary. Since you may not be employed at the moment, you need to consider your budget. If your networking budget is close to zero, consider printing or purchasing an inexpensive card.
What information should be included on the card?
Obviously, you are the CEO of your own searching organization – both employer and employee; however, others may not appreciate your sense of humor. Don’t make up fictional organizations in an attempt to impress. It’s not necessary. Your business card can be a simple affair. Include your name, phone number, address (if you feel comfortable) and e-mail address.
With the increasingly popular use of social media – consider including your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook address. A word of caution, only include these URL’s if your site is professional and geared toward job searching. If your Twitter and Facebook are primarily used for personal messaging, leave it off. Many job seekers are writing professional blogs to increase their exposure and show their expertise. If that’s you, definitely include the URL’s on your business card.
Where to buy business cards
You have a couple of options on how to get them made. One is to make them yourself. Business supply stores such as Staples and Office Depot sell business card paper of varying weight and colors. Caution, while this may seem the cheapest route – keep in mind that homemade business cards often look, homemade. It can be difficult to get the correct font or the information aligned correctly on the page. Also, the sheets are perforated. When you tear the business cards apart, you may end up with the fuzzy edges common in most perforated papers.
Consider buying inexpensive cards. Vistaprint is always running deals on business cards for under $15.00. You can also have cards made at Staples and Office Depot for a minimal cost depending on the number of letters and fanciness of the cards. Depending on the cost, you can purchase cards in increments of 250 to 500. You don’t want to purchase too many, in case your information changes.
Where to keep business cards
Once you have printed or purchased your cards, you need to keep them in a clean, dry accessible place. Pulling out cards with dirty marks, torn edges or smudges, is unprofessional. Invest in a card holder to keep them from becoming damaged. This also provides a place for you to collect cards that you received, until you get home.
Business cards are an important tool. They provide the recipient a way of getting back in touch with you once the event or chance meeting has passed. Business cards are also more professional then scribbling information on a napkin. Consider purchasing business cards to complement your job search efforts.