Question: I’ve heard networking cards are helpful, what information should I put on it?
Answer: While searching for a job, networking or contact cards are an inexpensive way to provide quick information to anyone you meet. By using your personal contact cards and not a card from the company you work at, it shows potential employers that you are not abusing current company time or money. Also, most employers would prefer not to use company contact information to get in touch with potential candidates.
You can find contact cards at most places that sell business cards. The bigger chains such as Staples or Office Depot offer them, as do online suppliers such as Vista Print. According to Staples and Vista Print’s online websites, 250 cards cost around $15.00. They are well worth the small investment.
Your cards should be 2 sided for a strong first impression. The front will have your contact information and will include your name, full address, phone number, email address and website if you have it. If you have a LinkedIn profile…and you should, add the information on the front of the card as well.
Use a font that is clear and large enough to be read easily. Also, make sure the contact information is yours personally and not an email account or phone number from your office. Not too much color or graphics either, you want your talents and information to stand out.
On the back is where you can really brand yourself as an expert in your field. I’ve seen some creative card backings so feel free to use it as you see fit. Some suggestions would be 3-4 bullet points on top achievements you’ve accomplished in the last 5 years for example:
- Ranked #2 out of 26 Sales Rep’s in the Michigan-Ohio region.
- Instrumental in launch of 2 new product lines.
- Increased region revenues by 12% in past 4 years after capturing 3 new large accounts.
Some prefer using a skill set to illustrate qualifications you have to offer. Depending on the industry and position use the most appropriate information. I’ve also seen quotes, education and internship experience for new graduates, and value statements that have all been very effective.
If you don’t have contact cards, order some today – it doesn’t take long and you’ll receive them in just a few days, some services are over night! Once you have them, don’t let them sit in the box and collect – go out and start marketing yourself as the expert you are!