I did not have business cards during my job search when I got my dream job to work in the front-office for an NBA team at the age of 21. I don’t believe they are essential to your success as a job-seeker either.
Having said that, if you really want to have some cards created, they better look very impressive. A business card that looks like it was printed on your home computer will diminish the value of your first impression. In other words, it’s better to not have business cards than to have cards that look cheap or sloppy. So, if you choose to invest in business cards, make sure you follow these 4 tips:
- Include a professional headshot. I learned this by meeting hundreds of fellow professional speakers over the last few years. Nearly all of them have headshots on their business cards. The first time I saw a picture on a business card, I thought it was weird. The 10th time I saw a headshot on a business card, I changed my mind (and my own business cards). A LinkedIn profile lacks personality without a great headshot, and your business card will as well. Just don’t make your headshot too big, or it can look obnoxious. To be consistent, just use the picture from your LinkedIn profile.
- Include your full contact information: full name, professional email address, mailing address, phone number, and links to your relevant social media profiles (i.e. LinkedIn).
- Show your value. Include a few bulleted points on the back of your card with several relevant achievements or academic/professional highlights. Or, you could include a short (5-10 words) value statement where you express your dream/professional mission or where you state how you make other people/organizations better (i.e. like if my cards were to say “I help students and recent grads get their dream jobs”).
- Get your cards designed by a professional. You can find a graphic designer at elance.com, fiverr.com, or guru.com. You could also just get a friend with a graphic design background to create them for you. If you are not a graphic designer, do not design your business cards yourself or they will probably look amateur.
How can you tell if your cards appear to be high-quality? People should actually comment on how great they look. If they don’t, throw out your cards and get some new ones (or just focus on what’s most important: having real conversations with people and building real relationships)!
P.S. For more free tips on how you (or your group’s members) can get their dream jobs and advance their careers, visit my web site at www.IdealizeNow.com.
-President of Idealize Enterprises
-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour
–Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day