When was the last time you received a letter?
Posted by Molly Wendell // in Job SearchNetworking
If you’re like most people, it’s been quite a while. I used to love checking my mailbox for letters. Now I’m lucky if I check it every two weeks. My postal carrier has become an expert in stuffing as much mail that can fit (or not). Thanksgiving Turkey…watch out!!
And if you’re in the job search, the “thin envelope/rejection letter” doesn’t even show up anymore. So why do people waste valuable space on the job search business card by putting on their mailing address? Here’s where else job seekers go wrong in their quest to create the perfect job search business card.
Too many designs. It may be cute, and you may just LOVE sunflowers, but plant them in the ground, not on your card! A colorful design that encompasses the entire card makes it very difficult to read the type. On the other hand, a completely boring, plain white card with black writing might need a little pizzazz.
Multiple phone numbers. I see many cards with a home (or home office) and a cell number. Here’s what happens when you put two numbers on the card. First, they have to figure out which one to call. Then, when you don’t answer that phone, they call you at the other phone. Chances are they’ll leave a message at one of the numbers (hopefully not both). Either way, it’s a waste of time for them (and that’s not how you want to be remembered!!). Try putting just one number. Which number? Use the number that when you answer that phone, it is ALWAYS in a professional manner in a quiet, controlled setting. Do think twice about putting your cell phone number on there – unless you are very aware of where and how you answer it. At this point, every move you make is being evaluated. And the voicemail greeting is that same professional manner (this is not the time to showcase your children’s singing potential).
Company name. Look, you’re not fooling anyone. No one believes you have a thriving consulting practice, so quit acting like it. “BUT” you’ll say, “I’m open to consulting opportunities.” Of course you are. And no one is not going to consider you just because you don’t have a card that shows a company name with an LLC that you set up just in case a consulting opportunity came along. More often than not, consulting opportunities (when you’re in the job search) come along as a result of meeting people, asking interesting questions and identifying a need.
Printing on the back. If you’re like most people, you tend to write on the back of cards. So why did you just fill the entire backside up with half your resume? What you really want to do is put three areas of expertise on the front of the card. These may be functional areas or industries or a combination. A CFO who specializes in public companies may do something like: Sarbanes-0xley, Treasury Management, Insurance. Or a VP of Marketing might have: Marketing Strategy, International, High Tech. A CEO may have: General Management, Turnarounds, Manufacturing. Leave someone with the label in which you want them to remember you. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something you’ve done for years. If you’re targeting a new industry, then put it on there! Who cares. It’s just a card. If someone asks, you just say you’re focused on that area.
Flimsy paper and unclean edges. Don’t let something so small like perforated edges or lightweight paper (because, good for you, you just printed them off this morning on your crappy inkjet printer!) leave behind an impression that you’re not quality. Use good quality card stock. I like to get cards from Vistaprint, because they have great designs (clean, professional ones – steer clear of the “too much” ones), and the cards are printed on quality paper (80# cover stock is sufficient). Here’s a link to Vistaprint for a 25% discount: http://www.vistaprint.com/frf?frf=845957584994
In short. Your name, email (in lower case – because when you put capital letters in there, you’re telling everyone that you don’t understand the basic fundamentals of the internet), phone and three areas of expertise…and that’s it! Reduce the clutter. Increase the impact.