We live in a world where job searches, internet searches, networking, and many other career building opportunities have moved online. Even with so many online career resources the business card is a necessity, and even a preferred avenue for exchanging contact information. Why is that? Well, let me tell you.
1.Business cards make you look (and feel!) professional.
First impressions matter! Being able to provide a well created business card shows that you are willing to put effort into your work and you take yourself seriously.
2.Business cards allow you to build and extend your personal brand.
Your business card can be personalized to make entirely your own, making it part of your brand. Be creative! Think about what you want to convey to those you are networking with. Then grow your brand and use your business card as a tool to support that.
3.Business cards allow people to contact you quickly/have your information on hand.
People are lazy. Give them a card so they don’t have to search for your contact information. Also, technology doesn’t always work. A business card allows someone to contact you with or without Wi-Fi or other technology.
4.Business cards imply a more personal connection, creating a professional relationship.
You cannot give someone a business card via email. It requires meeting face to face. Because of that, it feels more personal and authentic than a cold call or email. It may even leave a longer lasting impression on the individual you are networking with.
5.Business cards can be shared.
This will allow you – and your brand – to be shared. If someone feels you did a great job or would be a great potential candidate but they are not sure how to best use your skills or services in their company, they can easily pass on your information to others who can. Its networking with no effort!
Ok, you convinced me I need business cards. But how should I make one?
What you place on your business card is important. There is a lot of room for creativity, and lots of websites that can help you create them. HOWEVER, there are a few things that should be on every business card.
1.Your name and contact info – so the person you share it with can reach you. Keep your email address professional (no firstname.lastname@example.org). You may want to include any professional webpages you have as well, including your LinkedIn.
2.Your current title – and yes, that does include being a student! All because you are not employed full time in the working world does not mean that you don’t have a job. Being a student is hard work, so feel free to use it as your current title.
3.Your major and graduation year – Being a student, this is important. It lets employers know right away what your major is or was and when you expect to be done with your program. This can also clue employers and networking opportunities to your skills and expertise.
Other things to consider – Do you want to include a QR code? Your social media sites? And cool projects you have worked on? This is where some of that creative wiggle room comes in. Add what you are proud of and what you feel highlights your skills. Play with your design and layout and make it entirely yours!
For more information about business cards and launching your career check out the Career Development Center’s website at www.mnsu.edu/cdc.
Stop by the CDC during QuickStop Monday-Friday from 1pm – 4pm with your questions. We’d be happy to help you get started!