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How to Knock ‘em Dead With Your Business Card

Businesscard_march2012_webMany people see business cards as a tool used by executives and business owners who want you to remember their company when you need to do business with them. But, truth be told, business cards are also great way to promote your personal brand by having others remember you when they learn of job openings.

Business cards can be a useful addition to your arsenal of job-seeking tools helping get your information to the right people no matter where you are. They are great for networking and help you appear more prepared and professional when talking to others in your field. But, where do you start? What should be included on the card? With these easy steps, you’ll be able to make and use a polished, professional-looking business card that will help you wow whoever you give it to.

Chose the Content and Tagline

Your contact information is one of the most important things to put on the card. Generally, the easiest way to contact a person is through their phone number and email address. Try to keep it to the number and email, but if there is a method you use more often, use your best judgment before including them. Try avoiding addresses, job experience, or multiple phone lines.

Consider including links to your relevant, work-related social media profiles like Twitter or LinkedIn. If you have a website or blog about your work or the industry you work in, consider including those as well. To help you be more memorable, try including a tag line under your name, like a quote or slogan that describes you or your work, an image, or a logo.

Choose the Design

The layout, colors, and overall design of your card should reflect your personality, work, and overall image. If you want the loudest, most colorful, or most unique business card anyone has ever seen, you should have the demeanor to match.  Business cards come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Play around with the options and use your best judgment to find a look that stands out, but isn’t distracting. Paper choice is also important. If the card stock is too thin, it cheapens your image. There are a variety of textures, finishes, and weights in paper.

Budget is also something to consider. The more complicated or colorful your card is, the more expensive it is to print. If you have the money to spend or have connections, you can work with a graphic designer to create a customized look for your card. If that isn’t an option, there are a variety of online printers for custom cards like VistaPrint, Moo, or 99 Designs that range in price and customizability.

Choose the Time

Business cards are most useful at networking events or career fairs. When attending these functions, always bring more than you think you’ll need. Also, carry them around wherever you go. You never know what could happen, and you’ll need to have one ready at all times. Nothing can hurt your image more than handing someone a beat up business card. Consider getting a special holder to keep them from getting bent or smudged in your wallet or purse. And, make sure cards aren’t bunched in your purse or stuck in a notebook so that finding one isn’t a search and rescue mission.

Use your best judgment when giving people your card. Practice good etiquette and don’t bombard every person you meet with your card. Let it come up in natural conversation or wait until the end and give them one if you feel like they can be a viable contact.

Handing out business cards can greatly increase your chances of getting your name out and help others remember you longer, just by what’s printed on a small piece of paper. How have business cards influenced you? Share with us some of your favorite business card ideas in the comments below.