Since many of us have taken our job hunt online with the likes of LinkedIn, the power of the humble business card has gone overlooked.
However, in a real-life recruitment session, you’ll need to have this tried-and-true networking staple ready to go.
Having just any old card won’t do. A 2012 survey by Statistic Brain notes that around 88% of business cards will be thrown out less than a week after they were received. Your business card needs to be the exception to this rule.
Before you start planning your card, take 5 minutes and think about what makes a card memorable. Have you seen a business card that made a strong impression on you? Why? How can you use those qualities to guide the design of your own?
Here are 4 tips for putting together a good business card:
1. Use the back
Many people leave the back of their business cards blank for no reason! If you’re going to go to all the effort of making your business card stand out, you should make use of all that space.
Something that you could include on the back might be a space to write notes. The employer could write notes about you or you could make a note of a promising conversation topic you discussed before handing it over. The possibilities are endless!
2. Include a photo
When a campus recruiter is being handed piles and piles of 2 by 3 inch pieces of card stock, it’s going to be tough to match the card to the candidate. Including a photo on your card will not only make it stand out, but the recruiter will be able to put a face to a name and be more likely to remember meeting you.
3. Consider the shape and size of your card
Did you ever think about making the dimensions of your card unusual? Make your card a little bit bigger so that it sticks out from the pile that a recruiter will end up carrying. If you’re cutting your cards yourself, then great! You can decide exactly what size you want it to be. If you’re getting your cards made by a specialist then request a custom cut when they go to trim the cards to the desired size.
Consider giving your cards a different shape to show you can think outside of the 2 by 3 inch rectangle. You could even round the edges of your card to give it a modern twist. Or, you could abandon straight edges altogether and go for a circular card (or an egg-shaped one)!
4. Less is more
What are the best ways to contact you? Which social media platform(s) best represents your professional self? This is what you should be including on your business card. There’s no need to include your home address or phone number or fax. Here’s a quick check list you can use to decide what you want to include:
- Phone number
- Email address
- LinkedIn Public Profile URL/Twitter handle/Facebook page (Make sure it’s professional and doesn’t feature anything that could potentially harm your application to any job.)
You’ll need to put in some time and energy to figure out how to make a business card that reflects your strengths and character. Get started!