The Business Card: An Essential Job Search and Transition Tool

Most people think that a business card is developed by your workplace and meant only for workplace business. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s important that every individual interested in their professional career have a business card for networking. Now, does this card look different from the ones that you are issued by your company?  Yep!

For students: your business card should contain:

  • Your Name, Degree,Business Card Major, Minor, Year of Graduation, Phone Number and Email Address (the essentials)
  • You can also add: Your LinkedIn Address (a wonderful addition to your card because it can allow contacts to take a look at your education and experience at their leisure), Career Objective, Position and Club if you are an Executive Board Member (i.e., President, Secretary, etc.)

It’s important to keep your business card simple and easy to read, both in content and design. Have someone reread the card who has skills attending to small details because I have seen people’s majors even names spelled incorrectly. No need to spend tons of money on a card as you are a student and have much more important places to focus your money. You can get 250 free cards at http://www.vistaprint.com

As a student or new professional, you should liberally hand out your business card to recruiters you meet at fairs, individuals from networking events, fellow students/colleagues and you should be asking for others’ business cards as well. You should utilize others’ card to send them a follow-up email or thank you, add them to your LinkedIn as a contact, send them a lead or article that may be interesting to them, etc.

For professionals, if you are planning a career or job transition, it is important to have cards expressly for this purpose. Contacts and potential job leads should NOT be calling you on your work line or workplace email address. You should have them contact your own phone line, email address, etc. For your business card, you should consider having them done at a print shop so that you can choose the paper, font, ink, type set, etc.

For professionals, you need:

  • Your Name, Degree abbreviations should follow name if relevant, Recent Title, Industry, Contact Information.
  • Optional are: any professional affiliations that are relevant to your particular industry, LinkedIn

Having a business card for the purpose of job or internship search is a must. So, get on developing one right away!

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