Each day of the #60Day Challenge, we focus on a single task that takes less than an hour to complete – and will greatly improve how recruiters perceive you as a candidate. Today, we talk about a difference-maker: the business card.
Whoever said business cards are just for working professionals… was wrong.
Business cards serve many purposes outside traditional corporate America – and there is no requirement that says you must have a job to have a business card.
As students and job seekers, business cards are a great way to stand out among others vying for jobs or internships. They are also a business tradition that helps others remember you at networking events, career fairs, guest speaking seminars, workshops and more. Giving someone a tangible card will serve as a lasting reminder – and proof that you are ready to enter the business world.
What should you include on your business card?
- Full Name (stay away from nicknames or shortened versions of your name)
- University and graduating year
- Major or concentration
- Email address (one that uses your full name, please: Abby.Myers@gmail.com not ‘partygirl1986’)
- Phone Number
- Twitter Handle
- LinkedIn URL
If you can swing a two-sided business card, consider also including:
- Unique value proposition
- Interests or Professional Organizations (fraternities, clubs, etc.)
- Experience (Internships and volunteer assignments)
- Links to your blog or relevant social networking sites
When formatting your business card, test different fonts and layouts. 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 all the time you need to work on your business card – and keep in mind your audience as you format. Are you going into an old-school industry? Go with an old-school layout and font choice. Headed toward digital media, fashion or gaming? Be a little more creative.
Here’s the best part about ordering your business cards in our digital age: the cost. Cards can be printed and shipped quickly for less than $25:
- VistaPrint offers 500 one-sided cards for as little as $7.99 plus shipping (plus offers nice templates to help with formatting)
- At Smartlevels.com you can get two-sided, coated, full-color cards for $24.00 plus shipping
- Need cards in a hurry? Staples and Office Depot can get you 500, usually today, for $15.00
Be ready to stand out next time you attend a networking event (which we’ll discuss next week on the #60Day Challenge!), career fair, job interview – or next time you go on an informational interview or have coffee with a mentor – by having professional business cards at the ready!
Speaking of “ready”… click here to go on to Day 12 of the #60Day Challenge!
Our special thanks to Andrea Genevieve Michnik for contributing to Day 11 of the #60Day Challenge!