The Good Idea
I got my very first set of personal business cards from Staples.com a few months after graduating. The reason for getting the cards was because I was going to an alumni career fair at the NYU Journalism department. I knew I would be bringing my resume, because you never go to a career fair without your resume, but I wanted to bring something else that would help me stand out. So I got some basic cards with my name, contact info, and a link to my online portfolio. And I am glad I did, as they ended up being a big hit.
Because when I handed over my business card at the end of an interview, I impressed many a recruiter. The fact that I had taken the time to do that made me seem much more professional than other recent grads.
I got two freelance positions from that career fair. And I’m not saying the business cards were what did the trick, but they didn’t hurt.
Now, when I moved to L.A. my business cards weren’t so useful, as I didn’t live where they said I did anymore.
But I didn’t order new ones.
I was applying for jobs directly and going in for interviews so I didn’t see the point. I figured I would not be attending career fairs or networking events anytime soon so they weren’t necessary. Right?
I mean, the only reason I got the first business cards was because I didn’t have a job yet and I just needed something with my personal info. But then I got a job here, and again, didn’t see the point.
Eventually I started to realize that I didn’t have a strong career network out here, as my educational institution and all the jobs I had previously held were back east. And despite the fact I have a job, I want to continue to make new connections in order to seek out new opportunities.
Then a few weeks ago, my current boss and I had a chat about what my career goals were and what my ideal profession would be. Then he hit me with these zingers: “Well are you attending networking events for young professionals? You do have personal business cards don’t you? Have you asked your coworkers if they know of any opportunities that you might be interested in?”
And that’s when I knew that I had totally dropped the ball.
So the DAY we had that conversation, I went home and created brand new personal business cards on Vistaprint.com. I spent time making sure they were creative, concise, and informative. They have all of my contact info, plus the link to my online portfolio, and a QR code on the back that leads you directly to this lovely little blog.
They arrived yesterday, just in time for me to test them out at a holiday networking event. There they were an even bigger hit than my first batch at the career fair. Everyone loved the QR code on the back, which highlights my experience with digital media and coding. In fact, a few said they might “steal” that idea.
I am really proud of them and what they say about me. And I strongly encourage you to get your own personal business cards, even if you have a job right now. Because networking is a very, very important part of our professional lives today. And it will be something I discuss further here.
But for today I simply encourage you to get some cards of your own. Cards that say who you are, how to contact you, and are designed to fit your personality. Because being you could lead you to some amazing opportunities.