Business Card Best Practices for Job Seekers
True or False. With everything online, there’s no point in having a business card.
False. Business cards play an important role in the business world, and in your job hunt. In fact, they’re one of the best networking tools—both personally and professionally. And it looks much more professional than scribbling your digits on a napkin!
“Personally, I like getting these cards from potential applicants,” says Randy Goldberg, Executive Director Recruiting, of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “The information on a business card is really all we need to get you started with our application process.”
Be prepared to get carded
Keep plenty on hand at all times. Enter your card in draws. Don’t be timid. Exchange your card with people you connect with at interviews, conferences, tradeshows, social events, and of course, on the green. Pass your card on to co-workers, acquaintances, friends and family. Collect cards and file them into useful categories.
Be your own agent
Business cards show off your networking skills and marketing savvy. If you are currently employed but secretly on the job hunt, by-pass the company card and pass out your own business cards.
Include all the necessary details.
What’s in a name?
Make your name read loud and clear. It should pop off the paper in a slightly larger and/or bolded typeface. Potential employers shouldn’t have to search for your name.
Title me this. Title me that.
Mention your title. If you are currently out of work and on the hunt for a job, choose a title that projects the position you want to fill. For example, “Sous-Chef” or “HR Manager”. If you are applying to a number of jobs, it may be wise to have a variety of cards with general and specific titles.
Give yourself credit
Got credentials? If you have completed formal education or training, attach an acronym. For example, MBA or B.Sc. Hospitality and Tourism Management.
Give contact options
Only give the telephone numbers where you prefer to be reached. It is common for card holders to include a couple of numbers, such as cell phone and home numbers. If it’s a company card, it will have your business number and address. A personal address is optional, but not always necessary. If you give general business cards to potential employers, they may want to mail information packages or thank you letters. On the other hand, you may want to maintain privacy and omit your home address. Of course, your email address is a must.
Take offline networking online
Include a link to your website, blog, or social media sites only if they're relevant and used in a professional way. This is a great opportunity to share your resume, relevant projects, accomplishments, industry contacts, and communications know-how.
Go for a clear, effective design
Surely, nothing compares to homemade cookies. But this doesn’t apply to business cards. Thin paper and serrated edges doesn’t make for a great first impression. If you’re experiencing card envy then perfect yours with great typeface, fine-tuned wording and a smooth finish. Select an appropriate paper thickness. Give some flair by embossing or engraving.