Past Issues

June 30, 2008

Networking Business Card Techniques

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Networking Business Card Techniques

By Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. , QuintessentialCareers.com

When you're job-hunting, take your resume with you wherever you go -- and you should use every opportunity to grow and strengthen your network of contacts. But what do you do in situations where passing out a handful of resumes is not feasible? Use networking business cards.

Networking business cards, which have the look and feel of a traditional business card, give you the opportunity to provide critical career and contact information with people you meet in social and professional situations.

Why Networking Business Cards?

Business cards are the currency of meetings, but if you're a typical college student you don't have any business cards, and if you're a career changer you probably don't want to use your regular business cards. For a minimal investment you can print networking cards.

If you are serious about finding a job, then you already know the importance of networking and marketing yourself. Keep your networking cards clean and crisp and bring them EVERYWHERE you go -- to networking events, career and job fairs, professional meetings, social gatherings, parties, weddings, and anywhere else you may run into potential contacts. You should keep copies of your resume handy as well, but there are obviously numerous times where a resume would simply be too awkward to handle.

Designing and Printing Networking Cards

Networking cards are the same size and shape of business cards, contain key contact information like business cards, but instead of listing a company and job title, a networking card focuses on your job objective or unique selling proposition. Be sure to include all your pertinent contact information, including your name, phone number, email address, postal mail address; and Web site address, and phone number.

You can get your networking cards printed through numerous places on the Web or even print them yourself using special business card paper. When designing your networking cards, remember to keep the design and layout clean and simple using normal fonts. If you are interested in a job in a creative field, you can be a bit more creative, but for most job-seekers, keep the design and colors conservative.

Once your cards are printed, be sure to purchase a business card holder to protect your cards and keep them clean and crisp. What's the point of going to all the trouble of designing and printing great networking cards if you let them become soiled or dog-eared? Remember that people are always making assumptions and that in job-hunting, impression management is critical.

Dr. Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well as CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is the publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years.

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