Business cards can serve many purposes outside of traditional corporate America, you don’t even need a job to have your own business card these days. As students, business cards can be a way to stand out among others vying for jobs or internships. A unique business card is a way to help people remember you at networking events, career fairs, guest speaking seminars, workshops and more. Giving someone a tangible card, in addition to your resume and a handshake will serve as a lasting reminder.
Here are some examples of what to include on a student business card:
Stay away from nicknames or shortened versions of your name.
University and Graduating Year
Major or Concentration
Professional e-mail Address
If you don’t have a professional e-mail address, use this as an opportunity to sign up for one. Gmail or hotmail are two respectable hosting services. When you create your username be sure to make it simple, easy to read and as short as possible. Stay away from including numbers or screenames. For example Abby.Myers@gmail.com or StephenWilliamJones@h0tmail.com give off a professional vibe.
This is optional, but if you do include this on your business card change your voicemail and get rid of any ringbacktones or songs.
Interests or Professional Organizations
Think of this as your way to tell people more about yourself. Do you belong to a professional student organization? Do you love photography? Have a passion for service work? Showcase that kind of information.
List your internships or other related experience here.
Again, use discretion if your Twitter handle is @Diva6788 employers will think you are using your account to update your choice of cereal for breakfast. Only include your Twitter information if you use your real name and add value to the Twitter community.
Social Network Information
Share blog, Tumblr, Posterous or LinkedIn account information. (Not sure what Tumblre, Posterous or LinkedIn is? We’ll be sure to talk more about these platform later and offer hands-on workshops for students looking to created a presence on any network.)
When I was in graduate school this is what my business card would have looked like:
When creating your business card, test out different fonts and layouts for your contact information. If the card looks too busy it may get tossed to the side. White space (or the negative space on the card where there is no text or graphic) is just as important as the content. Take the time to work on your business card.
Remember, your card is a reflection… of you.
About the Author: Andrea Genevieve Michnik is the Founder and strategist behind BrandKit, helping students and young professionals develop their personal brand. She lives in Austin, TX by way of Washington, DC where she taught at The George Washington University. Andrea is actively involved in the Association for Women in Communication and Social Media Club EDU, and is an adjunct professor of PR and Digital Media Marketing at St. Edward’s University. Find her on Twitter @AndreaGenevieve and visit www.brandkit.co to learn more about BrandKit’s identity kits and mentoring programs.