I am often asked by clients to prepare marketing tools from résumés and letters to online profiles. One of the most important tools is interestingly overlooked by many job seekers…
That is the networking business card! You should always have an updated business card as a job hunter! It will not often be practical to have a résumé on hand. And even if you do, who will typically carry that around for you? But a card is a wonderful marketing tool to pass on…and on…and on! Your business card doesn’t replace the résumé, but it provides a convenient capsule of information that will impress a specific level of hiring value.
I love cards that use the back and the front. On the front, have your contact information (don’t forget a website or LinkedIn address if you have one), credentials if applicable to your job target, and headline (Award-Winning Sales Executive, Master Electrician, Financial Analyst, etc.). On the back, put your tagline a one-line sentence that captures who you are, along with three pieces of information you want people to know about you. Use a logo if appropriate.
Unique and effective business cards are a great way to familiarize networking contacts and potential employers with your name and brand your unique value. Develop a card which catches everyone’s attention not just employers but people who may know someone who is hiring. Give a card to everyone you know (see link to Targeted Networking articles Part 1 and 2). If they meet someone who is looking to hire, your business card can be passed
on. Here’s an example from one of my clients (who, by the way, landed the job!):
Networking cards are the same size and shape of business cards (3-1/2″ wide and 2″ high). Where to get them:
- Through your local supply or printing store (Kinko’s, OfficeMax, etc.)
- Online (probably the best bang for your buck; just Google to find suppliers)
- Make them yourself using business card forms (like Avery 3612) and your computer’s Publisher, Word or similar software programs.
Now that you’ve got another great marketing tool hot off the press, off you go to talk to people! When you’re talking to friends, family, acquaintances, teammates, or potential employers, you can tell them that you’re looking for work, the sort of work you’d like to do, and a bit about what makes you special!
Tip: Remember to say, Here are three of my cards. Please pass them on to people you know in business, people who might need someone like me!”