Picture this: You are at a networking event with the hope of making new contacts and maybe even finding a good lead about a job opportunity in your field. You take the time for proper grooming and a professional looking outfit. You know it’s important to “look the part” even though you have been unemployed for several months following a downsizing. And why shouldn’t you look the part? You have 10+ years in your field as a top performer. As an avid reader and someone who likes to be prepared, you read industry journals, business papers, and follow daily events so you can speak well about current events and industry trends. At this event, you have been having a great discussion with a VP level person who seems interested in your background and asks for your card. Feeling embarrassed, you look down and sheepishly state that you do not have one because you are in between jobs.
Now tell me, what impression do you think this leaves on the VP? As a professional, a business card is part of your outfit. Just like a pen. Just like a suit. Just like a decent haircut. Or anything else that a professional would have. They are easy to get and relatively inexpensive. (In fact, on vistaprint.com you can get them for free.) So get one – you have no excuse and no reason to feel embarrassed….(unless you do not get one.)
How to create a professional card? Look at others for ideas. Keep it clean looking and include your name, phone number, email address, LinkedIn URL, and maybe a QR code linked to your LinkedIn profile. Use a “headline” to define your expertise such as “Sales Professional” or “Marketing Manager.” Add a few bulleted items to highlight 3 or 4 areas of expertise. Perhaps use a light color or texture for the background to make it a little interesting.
Once you have your new cards, you will have more confidence in networking and know that you are fully dressed for the part!