Your personal business card is your call to action. For those not familiar with the term, a call to action is an invitation for your reader to make an immediate response. In marketing, a call to action can be “call now” or “learn more” or “book today.”
Does your business card do that now?
A hiring manager knows a well-designed business card with one glance. And you don’t want to give any reason for a potential employer not to call you or review your online portfolio.
Even the most qualified candidates get lost in the shuffle. Instead of falling through the cracks, create a business card that gets you noticed. Here’s how you can make your business card stand out from the towering stack of 3.5” x 2” cards.
Easy on the Eyes
Can your business card be read from a distance or at a glance? If not, how likely will you be called for a business opportunity?
Make your business card stand out by making it easy to read. Your printer can provide recommendations on which font sizes and colors are best for your business card.
Before you head off to the printer or start your online search, it helps to know the basics:
- Choose a font that’s easy to read. Professionals often recommend serif fonts like Times New Roman, Palatino, Georgia, Courier, Bookman or Garamond because they are recognizable and easy to read.
- Choose a font color that stands apart from background. Grey font on white cardstock is hard to read and easily fades into the backdrop.
- Choose a font color that’s reader-friendly. Lime green or neon orange is a strain on the eyes.
Upgrade Its Weight Class
It’s true that the thinner the business card, the cheaper the price. But how professional does it look to hand out a flimsy business card that already creased after one touch? And a thin business card can easily slip through the fingers of a hiring manager. Out of sight, out of mind.
The quality and weight of paper of your business card shows that you mean business. Select a sturdy and reliably firm paper stock to print your business cards so that you represent yourself more accurately and leave a stronger impression on your recipient.
Cover Your Back
Many professionals forget that there are two sides to print on a business card. This becomes handy when you have a lot to say but not enough room to print it.
You can make your business card stand out by featuring content on the back that doesn’t quite fit on the front. You can feature your professional headshot, your logo, a link, a strong testimonial, your social media contact info or a personal (and catchy) quote.
Cluttering the back of your business card can be just as damaging as a blank back. Leave extra space on the back so that hiring managers can take notes. The less you print on the reverse side, the more it stands out.
Think of your business card as an invitation to your brand. Your social media accounts are your platform where you can showcase your talents and tell your story. Hiring managers can see your professional behavior online as well as how actively you participate within digital conversations happening in your industry.
According to this survey, 70% of hiring managers review social media accounts when researching potential candidates. Shorten their search time by printing your social details. This can make your business card stand out because it welcomes the recipient of your card to engage with you long after the initial face-to-face meeting.
Keep Your Contact Info Simple
It’s tempting to print every way a hiring manager can reach out to you. But be realistic on how a hiring manager would reach out to you. Would they need your home address to set up an interview? Is a fax number really necessary to forward documents?
When it comes to your social media accounts, be selective on the ones you feature. Choose the channels that best showcase your talents, brand and professionalism? For example, I choose to showcase my Twitter handle and my LinkedIn profile on my business cards because I am actively engaged in industry conversation on these two networking platforms.
To make your business card stand out, provide essential contact details to avoid the clutter. A clear call to action makes it easy to spot how a hiring manager should reach out to you after the first meeting.
Words instigate actions as design can inspire it. And with the right imagery in place, your business card can motivate that hiring manager to pick up the phone and call you.
Make your business card stand out with a strong visual layout. No graphic design training required—in fact, many business card printers offer pre-designed templates that, when customized, can personalize your business card. If your brand has a logo, feature it. If there’s sufficient room for your professional headshot, place it strategically.
While images can make your business card pop, too many images can be an eyesore. Only add visuals that provide value to your audience. Anything more can send your business card quickly to the trash.
Give It Some Room
Hiring managers like to take notes on business cards so they don’t forget key facts about you. But if you don’t leave some space for notes, that hiring manager won’t have room to jot down key facts from your conversation or what they like about you.
It’s amazing how a little breathing room can make your business card stand out. A decent amount of blank space—either on the back and the front—is all they need to make a note or two. Avoid a gloss finish on your business card so that a pen or pencil can write on it.
Have you done enough to make your business card stand out? Reach out to professionals you trust to review your business card and provide feedback, including peers, HR professionals and hiring managers. Verify that your business card reads as intended before you place it in the hand of a potential employer or strong networking connection.