Everyone is always talking about networking, but rarely do they talk about the Do’s and Don’ts of business cards. Business cards are an important part of Networking; the people you talk to are likely to talk to lots and lots of other individuals, and potentially other job seekers, and you don’t want to be forgotten. Leaving behind a business card is a sure-fire way to ensure that they remember your name. And if you have a good business card, they will remember you. If all they have left at the end of a networking function is a pile of business cards and vague memories, will yours get tossed aside?
The 5 C’s For Creating Captivating Business Cards.
1. Clarity: A business card is small for a reason. Make sure that your message – that you are a strong candidate for this position – is clear and simple. Make sure that the font is clear and large enough to read at a glance. Include all relevant and only relevant information: Your name, title, e-mail address, phone number, and website (if you have one) are essential. A slogan, motto or short quotation is acceptable if it is consistent with your brand.
2. Consistency: Your business cards are another representation of your personal brand, and there’s nothing worse than an unrecognizable or inconsistent brand. Be sure that the font and color scheme matches your website (if you have one) and your resume.
3. Creativity: Your business card, like your resume, should showcase your personality and personal brand. Be creative! (But like I said above, make sure to be consistent with the rest of your brand!)
4. Clutter-Free: Don’t add things just for the sake of adding things. Extraneous information is just as bad, if not worse, than a boring business card. If it isn’t relevant, leave it off.
5. Carrying: Make sure to always have several (at least 10) copies of your business card with you at all times. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to invest in a case either. Leaving them in your pocket will cause their edges to wear and are likely to leave them looking messy. And pulling out a clear plastic bag won’t impress anyone. You can find business card holders in most office supply stores for $5-$10.
This is an example of a business card that I could use in my networking efforts. Being that my title is “social media coordinator”, this theme works well for me and is a little more creative than the standard business card, while maintaining clarity and simplicity. Everything is in lower case letters and the top is blue and grey to match the header on my resume, to keep my brand consistent.
Ready To Create Your Own?
- If you feel confident in your design and technical abilities, and are on a tight budget most versions of Microsoft Word have templates where you can create your own business card. Then you can save it to a flash or USB drive and print them out at your nearest Kinko’s. Be sure to ask them for cardstock, you don’t want to print business cards on regular paper!
- If you’re feeling less confident, don’t have the time, and have a few dollars to spend, we recommend VistaPrint. It is one of the most popular business card suppliers, they are inexpensive, and are very customizable. Click here to visit their website, and they can take you step-by-step through the process.
- A recent trend in business card creating is the e-business card. If you'd like to explore this option, click here to read all about it. If you do decide to go the e-route, I suggest making paper copies as well. This is new, so some people you’re networking with may not have adopted this method yet. And remember to keep it consistent with your paper copy!
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