November 23, 2010

What to Put on Business Cards, Part 2

If you've been to a networking event then you know how useful business cards can be. Offering your card to a new contact is usually the best way to get their card in return. Yet as a student, recent grad, or intern it can be pretty overwhelming and frustrating to figure out what to put on one for yourself. Check out Part 1 for some more insights.

What You Need To Know

  • You can be a little more creative with your card if you intend to work in a creative field, still be sure to keep the design clean, simple, and professional
  • If you don't actually have a real job in the career you want yet, you shouldn't just put what you want to do as if it were your title. Just include your name, email, phone number, the degree you are pursuing if you are a student and perhaps future graduation date, and any other contact info you wish to include. 
  • If you think this simple information is not enough you can use the back as a sort of mini-resume by including a few points or phrases summarizing your knowledge and experience. Again, keep it simple. 
  • You can also include a picture to help jog their memory and brand yourself. However, be sure it is a professional looking image and not your Facebook profile picture. If you do decide to include a picture of yourself, then it is a good idea to continue this branding effort by using it on professional social networking sites as well. 
  • Vistaprint is a popular option for affordable business cards: they're decent quality, have designs you can use and customize, and are generally pretty cheap. Be forewarned though that the costs on this site can add up pretty quickly: they charge for advanced editing, printing on the back side, removing their website from the back side, shipping, etc. Standard shipping takes a month and is fairly costly considering and it costs even more if you want them sooner. 
  • If you need business cards soon and don't want to pay the Vistaprint prices to rush it, try Staples. They are affordable, good quality, and and have various options for ordering. They also give you the option of uploading your design online and having them completed in store within a day. 
  • Take some business cards with you wherever you are, you never know when you will meet someone that can help you get a job. It is also a good idea to get a business card holder to keep them in and protect them.
  • Create some sort of system to organize the cards you receive from others and keep them handy for future reference. Try to follow up via email as soon as possible after meeting someone; aim for around 24-48 hours to pass. 
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