Q: My job was eliminated last month. I took some time off to handle some chores around my house. Now I need to get serious. I was told by a career coach that I need to buy business cards. Are they still relevant?
A: Business cards are still relevant! Why?
- When you attend a live networking event, you will feel naked if you don’t have business cards. You know that feeling when you have left your cell phone at home? You will have that feeling. Everyone else will be swapping business cards. You will be tearing off little pieces of paper and scribbling down your info. Don’t. Bring your business card instead.
- They’re easy to carry. Keep them with you, in your car and in your wallet. You never know where you will meet someone. It could be in a line at a coffee shop or the deli. Have it ready to go.
- You are a professional! Don’t be that person that is fumbling around looking for a piece of paper to write down your contact info.
- They provide basic info. They hopefully provide your contact info – name, phone number, email address and LinkedIn URL. More on that in a bit.
What should be included on your business card?
- Your contact info – name, email and phone number. I would also recommend providing your customized Linkedin URL. If you have a website, include that also.
- For some, a tagline or quick blurb about who you are. Examples include: seasoned CPA, social media expert or events planner. Alternatively, you could include a few bullets about your core areas of expertise.
- White space. Don’t cram your resume on to your business card. Avoid tiny or complicated fonts. This is not a wedding invitation. Unless you are a vet, no pets. Keep it clean, simple and uncluttered.
- Photos and QR codes. I think photos should only be included if they are relevant. If you are a model or a media personality maybe. For the rest of us, I’d probably pass on the photo. QR codes – some love them. I am not sold you need it. I think they have lost their sizzle.
It is worth to have a few hundred printed, before your next networking event.
Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.