|Exchanging business cards is a|
great way to follow up after
A well designed business card can make a job seeker appear responsible and professional. It can also serve as a reminder to the recipient to follow through with promised assistance.
|Visit VistaPrint.com to learn about free and low-cost business card options.|
What to include:
Copy should be kept to a minimum, but should include:
- First and last name
- General job title, such as “Office Professional”, or “MBA Finance Professional,” so you can use your card for a variety of positions fitting your background
- Preferred phone number
- Secondary phone number (if applicable)
- Email address
- LinkedIn profile address (if applicable)
- Other options
- Web or blog address
- Twitter address
- Home address
- Fax number
- Your photo (optional) If you do use your picture, make sure it is a flattering, professional looking picture that is clear and bright, and is not a Glamour Shot-type pose.
- Use the back side to feature three to four accomplishments, skills, certifications, and/or educational history.
Your card should reflect your professionalism, ability, creativity, and good taste. Avoid loud, garish, or fluorescent colors, hard-to-read or childish typefaces, unprofessional images (please, no kitties!) and cheesy slogans.
- The font color should be easy to read against the background color.
- White or light colored backgrounds are easiest to read; but a contrasting color accent elsewhere can add visual punch.
- Choose a regular business card weight. Too-light cards give a cheap, home-made impression.
- Choose a horizontal format in the standard business card size (3.5” x 2”) in case people want to file your card in a Rolodex.
When to use them
- Carry your business cards with you everywhere … the grocery story, car repair shop, etc. You never know when you will run into someone who can help you.
- In particular, remember to bring your card to networking events, job fairs, and conferences.
- Don’t use cards with old or incorrect information.
- Don’t cross out wrong information and write in correct information. Order new cards!
- Keep your cards where you can access them easily. It looks bad when you have to dig for them.
- Keep your cards in a case so they don’t get bent or worn.
Four ways to get your business cards produced
- Order through your local quick printers. Walk in and look through their books of options. Give the little guy your business!
- Buy sheets of perforated business card paper from an office supply store and print them from your home printer. Because this paper is thinner than normal business card stock, the cards do not feel as professional as store-bought cards. You can also encounter problems with ink quality, paper jams, and perforated-looking edges.
- Order business cards by walking into a Fed Ex Office store (formerly FedEx/Kinko’s) or into the copy center section of office supply stores like OfficeMax, Office Depot, or Staples. You can also order online through these companies. Either way, you can chose from thousands of design templates.
- Order inexpensive business cards through lesser-known companies online and use one of their many design templates. To find these sites, type "business cards online" into your search engine.
- Online: Prices vary from zero (if you include their ad on the back and if you pay shipping and handling), or very low price points such as $1.99, $2.99 and $3.99 for 250 cards, but buyer beware the cheaper options -- these companies may try to aggressively add extra costs to your order as your proceed through their online order process and may have poor customer services histories. Type the name of the company and “business card complaints” into your search engine before purchasing from any of these companies. Personally I'd avoid the free option with the ad on the back of your business card -- it looks unprofessional. Timing can take from overnight up to 10 days.
- Local: Some of the “big box” office supply stores will let you order your business cards online and pick them up at one of their stores the same day or the next day. Prices range from $14.99 for 250 quantity up to $24.99 or more depending on quantity, quality, and delivery date. Local independent quick printers may charge a bit more and take longer, but they might surprise you and have great deals available to get your business.
Order and use business cards! They might just help you Get a Job!
Do you use business cards in your job search? Share your comments via the Contact tab. If I can be of help to you, let me know. -- Kathy
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