Business Cards: Your Supercharged Mini-Resume
People give me their business cards all the time. I get so many of them that it can be challenging to draw a connection between the business card and the person who gave it to me. Some people seem to think that there is a rule about what should and should not be on a business card. But the business card is simply a pint-sized version of your resume and a powerful piece of marketing collateral that needs to be in every job seeker’s toolkit. Business cards are evolving from being a simple way to capture contact information to a method for learning much more about a person and their qualifications. Here are some suggestions for getting more mileage out of your business card. A couple of these additional touches can go a long way when making an introduction to potential decision makers.
1. Include your professional identity.
Rather than just listing your name and contact information, try adding your professional identity such as Award Winning Journalist” or LEEDS Certified Engineer. This quick reference to what you do helps make you more memorable to hiring managers.
2. Add a tag line.
A tag line is a brief message that indicates your personal brand and value proposition. For example, a Technology Product Developer might have a tagline that reads:
Combining expertise in technology, business strategy, and operations to help organizations define product feasibility, identify customized solutions, reduce time to market, and increase ROI.
3. Include a personal quote.
A quote on a business card can help the recipient better understand your philosophy about work and the skills you bring to the table. For example, a construction project manager might have a quote such as:
Understanding and implementing budget, scheduling, aesthetics, and technical practices; to balance and proactively manage these components is my top skill.
4. Add your LinkedIn url.
Adding your LinkedIn url to your business card is a great way to say “Here’s my resume” without actually saying “Here’s my resume.” Recipients of the card have the option of quickly locating and checking out your online profile if they want to learn more about you.
5. Add your Twitter handle.
If you regularly “tweet” content that helps extend your brand and crystallize your value proposition, adding it to your business card is a subtle way to say “Keep watching me to learn more about my areas of expertise and my passion for a particular topic.”
6. Add a picture.
Business cards are all about building relationships and offering a keepsake of you that the recipient can hold on to. By adding a picture, you create a visual connection between you and the holder of the card and this visual connection will be reignited each time they glance at the card.
By adding just one or two of these ideas to your business cards you will begin to build a stronger brand, create a greater rapport with the people you meet, and become more memorable in crowded networking circles.