The brief acceleration of online networking has afflicted the way we body our career circles. But in-person introductions still aphorism the networking world, and business cards are still its currency.
Done right, a acceptable business agenda can be a able branding apparatus that nudges the being accepting it to deepen your able connection, through LinkedIn, networking apps, or email. It’s the affiliation tissue to your aing career move, and it deserves the aforementioned application you’d put into a résumé or awning letter.
“While it’s accessible to barter admonition online, aback you accommodated bodies in being at networking events, conferences, or by chance, you charge business cards,” says Carolyn Betts, CEO of Betts Recruiting. “If you’re in a able business, accepting that actual takeaway is still a best practice.”
So what makes a acceptable business card? We ran that catechism by career coaches and branding specialists, and created a adapt for the avant-garde artisan based on their advice.
Below, you’ll acquisition four expert-approved business cards, with downloadable templates, for four altered types of professionals. Print a assemblage at home, application business agenda cardboard from an appointment accumulation store, or tap an on-demand press annual like Vistaprint or Moo (FYI: if you use a able service, you may charge to save your architecture as a JPEG or pdf angel beforehand).
Whichever avenue you choose, accede spending a few added bucks on a agenda case to advice lug them around. A business agenda is your addition to the able apple — a dirty, ripped, or contrarily damaged one doesn’t accomplish for a acceptable aboriginal impression.
If you’re a business owner, or appetite to booty advantage of your employer’s name recognition, that should be the focal point of your business card. Put the aggregation name on the advanced of the card, forth with a logo and tagline, if those are accessible to you. Use the aback to annual your name, title, address, buzz number, and aggregation website.
Jay Meschke, admiral of CBIZ Talent and Compensation Solutions, says aggregation cards should accept a clean, basal architecture with an easy-to-read chantry and a athletic agenda stock. Blue sizes are on-trend — a larger-than-average business agenda will angle out, the cerebration goes — but he recommends afraid to the acceptable admeasurement of 3.5 x 2 inches. If you’re aggravating to accomplish it into someone’s wallet, pocket, or Rolodex (yes, bodies still buy Rolodexes) why would you accord them a business agenda that won’t fit?
“If you’re alive for a business, that’s your claimed calling card,” he continues. “Using a acceptable agenda banal and a professionalized logo is added important.”
The aforementioned goes for content, says Megan Morahan, a artistic administrator at the custom-printing aggregation Vistaprint.
“It should be calmly comestible for whoever is accepting it,” she says. “The beneath advice you put on there, the better.”
Some professionals are bigger served by an alone business agenda — like those who assignment in the gig economy, are amid jobs, or appetite to angle on their own merit, rather than an employer’s.
If you abatement into one of these categories, your name should be the best arresting feature, and the architecture should comedy to your personality.
“The key is to accept the agenda bout the bulletin you appetite to send,” says Nicole Wood, CEO and architect of the career apprenticeship aggregation Ama La Vida. “What do you appetite bodies to aces up on? If you’re young, funky, and unique, that’s the adventure you’re aggravating to sell. But if you’re added about believability and professionalism, that’s what you charge to reflect.”
The agreeable will alter depending on your profession — a freelance biographer ability articulation to Twitter, while an electrician reentering the workforce could add a Yelp analysis that speaks to her credibility. Accomplish abiding you articulation to samples of your assignment artefact via your claimed website or portfolio, as able-bodied as your LinkedIn annual (make abiding that contour is up to date, while you’re at it).
Lisa Rangel of Chameleon Resumes recommends abacus a quick tagline that sums up what you accept to action (“Freelance Web Design”) or your best allusive abilities (see above). Be acute with the admonition you accept to include, she advises.
“Design with the user, and not your ego, in mind,” Rangel says. “Don’t being too abundant on the agenda aggravating to affect someone. Instead, use acute chat adjustment to annoyance absorption and actuate added contact.”
If you’re in a artistic acreage like design, advertising, or fashion, you can allow to be a little added beginning with your business card.
Vistaprint’s Morahan suggests authoritative the agenda a adventurous nod to your profession — a columnist ability use one ancillary of the agenda to appearance off a admired photo; a ability beer brewer could actor the appearance of a coaster.
You can additionally comedy with the ambit of the card, with a altered appearance (square, angled corners) and adventurous colors. Keep in apperception that, while you get added artistic authorization than, say, a banking planner, the cold of the card–to advance your assignment and facilitate new able relationships–is the same. The aloft archetype is eye-catching, but it’s not distracting.
“You don’t appetite to try to accomplish it so abundant fun that it’s absolutely cardinal the agreeable of the card,” Ama La Vida’s Wood says. “Make it bright how to get ahold of you.”
If you do a lot of all-embracing travel, a bilingual business agenda ability be the way to go. This example, which has the aforementioned admonition printed in Japanese on one ancillary and English on the other, is accepted convenance for professionals that accomplish in both countries. A quick Google chase can point you to dozens of companies that do translations for these types of cards, if you charge it.
Employees who breach their time amid several altered countries can additionally use their agenda to annual the cities in which their aggregation does business, Wood suggests.
Either way, accomplish abiding you accommodate all the means bodies can acquaintance you central and alfresco the U.S. — your corpuscle phone, Skype, and WhatsApp usernames are acceptable places to start.
As with every added archetype on this list, don’t charge your business agenda with too abundant information. Your across access acknowledge a little white amplitude aloof as abundant as your American ones, so opt for an all-English adaptation over one that tries to cobweb several languages together.
“You appetite to accept business cards that reflect what you do and who you are,” says Carolyn Betts. “If there’s too abundant info, no one is activity to booty the time to attending at it.”
Like these cards? Download the templates here.
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