The meteoric rise of online networking has changed the way we build our career circles. But in-person introductions still rule the networking world, and business cards are still its currency. Carolyn Betts, CEO of Betts Recruiting. If you’re in a professional business, having that tangible takeaway is how To Make Money Through Networking a best practice. So what makes a good business card?
We ran that question by career coaches and branding specialists, and created a blueprint for the modern worker based on their advice. Below, you’ll find four expert-approved business cards, with downloadable templates, for four different types of professionals. Whichever route you choose, consider spending a few extra bucks on a card case to help lug them around. A business card is your introduction to the professional world — a dirty, ripped, or otherwise damaged one doesn’t make for a good first impression. If you’re a business owner, or want to take advantage of your employer’s name recognition, that should be the focal point of your business card.
Put the company name on the front of the card, along with a logo and tagline, if those are available to you. Use the back to list your name, title, address, phone number, and company website. Jay Meschke, president of CBIZ Talent and Compensation Solutions, says company cards should have a clean, minimal design with an easy-to-read font and a sturdy card stock. Funky sizes are on-trend — a larger-than-average business card will stand out, the thinking goes — but he recommends sticking to the traditional size of 3. Using a good card stock and a professionalized logo is more important. The same goes for content, says Megan Morahan, a creative director at the custom-printing company Vistaprint.
The less info you put on there, the better. Some professionals are better served by an individual business card — like those who work in the gig economy, are between jobs, or want to stand on their own merit, rather than an employer’s. If you fall into one of these categories, your name should be the most prominent feature, and the design should play to your personality. Nicole Wood, CEO and founder of the career coaching company Ama La Vida. What do you want people to pick up on? If you’re young, funky, and unique, that’s the story you’re trying to sell. But if you’re more about credibility and professionalism, that’s what you need to reflect. The content will vary depending on your profession — a freelance writer might link to Twitter, while an electrician reentering the workforce could add a Yelp review that speaks to her credibility.
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Be discerning with the information you choose to include, she advises. Don’t stuff too much on the card trying to impress someone. Instead, use smart word placement to pique interest and motivate further contact. If you’re in a creative field like design, advertising, or fashion, you can afford to be a little more experimental with your business card. The above example is eye-catching, but it’s not distracting. Make it clear how to get ahold of you.