Why You Need a Resume Business Card
When you’re on the hunt for a new job, networking is everything. You never know where the lead for your next job will come from. The woman sitting next to you on the plane, the friend at a cocktail party, another job-seeker you meet at a networking event… any one of these people might be the link to the job you’re dreaming about.
But pulling out your two-page resume, or making notes on a piece of paper, isn’t very efficient or appropriate when you have a brief encounter with someone. Do that and you’ll look desperate or cheesy, and you risk their annoyance at being expected to keep track of a document they didn’t ask for in the first place.
What you need is a resume business card.
A resume business card lets you share what you do and what you’re looking for in a simple, quick-to-grasp way. It builds a network of people who have a lasting reminder of you… people who may be the link to your next job.
Even better, a resume business card doesn’t have to follow the kinds of rules your resume does. It can have color and graphics, and it can say whatever you want, so it can be much more memorable and really express your personality, which makes a big difference in getting people to remember you, and getting them to remember to pass it along to someone who might have a job for you.
Here are a couple of samples to show you what I’m talking about. I put these together in a just few minutes using the easy templates and backgrounds on OvernightPrints.com (where I’ve had cards and marketing materials made for years) just to give you the idea.
What information you include will depend on what you’re looking for. Obviously you need the basics: your name, phone number and email address.
If you’re a technical person or designer, it can include the URL for your online resume and portfolio. If you’re a business person, put the link to your LinkedIn profile.
Here’s what a senior software sales person’s resume business card might look like.
But you don’t have to stop there. It’s your marketing tool, so you can add whatever makes you stand out.
Summarize your experience, or list a few key skills or talents. Make it lively. Make it personal. Check out this card for someone who’s looking for server, hostess or bartending work. A card like this will be a lot more effective to leave somewhere you’d like to work than handing over a full-length resume.
You can even put your photo on it, if you do it in an appropriate way (which means a friendly, clear, business-like photo of good quality). If you’re in a business where image counts (sales or fashion, for instance), it can really help to have a photo so people can get a feel for you.
Don’t overdo it and don’t get too clever or try to fit too much on it. Keep the type big enough to read easily. If you have a lot to say, then you can use the back side, too. But leave enough space on the back for making notes, and don’t put the UV gloss coating on the back, or you won’t be able to write on it at all.
I use OvernightPrints.com for my business cards, and have sent many friends and clients there too. I’m sure there are other good companies out there, but Overnight Prints offers two things that I find make my cards really stand out:
1) they do a UV coating on cards for free, which gives them a high gloss that looks absolutely fantastic and gives them a lot more strength. People always comment on the heavy feel of my card.
2) they offer an option for rounded corners, which is eye-catching and doesn’t feel at all like normal business cards (rounded corners cost extra, but if you’re in a senior job or a design field, the distinctiveness of it might make it worth it).
Here’s a link so you can get a great deal on 100 cards from OvernightPrints.com. It’s a great deal, and a small investment to help expand the web of your networking in your job search.
I know these kinds of cards get noticed, because I’ve used them for years. I guarantee, when you hand someone a photo-quality business card with a high gloss finish, they are going to look at it more carefully, and they’re far more likely to put it in their wallet, and to remember you.
And you’ve made it easier for them to tell other people about you, too.
You can plant the seeds of what to do with your card when you give it to them. Say “Here’s my contact information and a little about what I’m looking for. I’d really appreciate if you could pass this on to your contact at ABC Company, or if you’d let me know if you hear about anything that sounds up my alley.”
You can still ask for their card or email to follow up with them, but now they have a specific idea of how they can help you, and a tool in their hand that makes it easy, so they’re much more likely to do it.
Your card can work on its own as well. When a friend offers to be a resource in your job search, give him a few cards and tell him the kinds of people and companies you’d like to know about. Then he’s more likely to bring it up when he meets someone on the plane or at the cocktail party. Now you have your own team out there promoting you.
And remember, networking is a two-way street. You may not be working right now, but you know lots of people, and there will probably be something you can offer to do to return the favor. The more you can connect with someone on an authentic and personal level, the more likely it is that you’ll be good networking resources for each other.
Statistics say that your next job will probably come through someone you know or meet, rather than a job posting. Make sure you have the right tool to get the most out of those connections.