Should College Students Invest In Business Cards?
Why business cards aren’t just for working professionals.
Business cards are typically marketed toward established professionals and entrepreneurs – but that doesn’t mean they can’t be useful if you’re just starting out in your career.
Networking is a crucial part of building your career, especially during your job search or while completing an internship. Whether you’re attending networking events or career fairs, business cards can help you feel more confident and leave a new professional contact with a reminder of who you are.
Considering getting a set of your own business cards? Below are few reasons why you might want to invest in this easy professional staple.
Build Your Personal Brand
Your personal brand is an integral part of your career. As a college student, building a brand is easier than it sounds. You don’t need a fancy logo or an extensive color scheme – just a few personal elements are more than enough.
Choosing one color that you feel represents you is a great place to start. Incorporate this color wherever you can: On your social media profiles, on your resume, and on your business card. Also, make sure you choose a font that is easy to read. Add your LinkedIn URL and a portfolio website (if you have one) and you have all of the basics! It’s an easy way to help you establish your brand early on and allow you to present yourself to potential employers or contacts in a polished and professional way.
At any career fair, your goal is to connect with recruiters from companies you may want to apply to. This is your chance to be proactive and make a good impression, and face-to-face contact is a great way to do so. However, also having a business card can make you even more memorable at an event where recruiters might meet tens or hundreds of other students.
Business cards are a fast and efficient way to hand someone all of your most important information. While you should follow up with recruiters over email after the event, business cards can serve as an additional reminder of your face-to-face interaction and allows the receiver to refer to your information whenever they might need it, whether that’s now or next year. Business cards can also prove invaluable because they showcase your professionalism and preparedness. When you only have a minute or two to impress, every second counts, so make those seconds go farther by handing them your business card first.
Build Your Confidence
Having a business card sets you apart from other students without them. Making a business card takes time, thought, and effort, which is easy to see in the finished product. Recruiters or other people you may meet at a networking event will be impressed to see you present yourself with the confidence of someone who is already in the workforce.
Feeling more nervous than confident? Physically having something to hold and to hand to the people you meet may be enough to help steady you. Just as having a business card makes you look prepared, it can also make you feel prepared because you have something to help you answer any questions you might be asked. “Do you have a portfolio?” “Can I see your work?” “How can I get in touch with you?” All of these answers can be found on your business card, which means less thinking on your feet and more confidence in yourself and in your abilities.
How Do I Make Business Cards?
Now that you’re ready to make your cards, here are some resources to help you create them quickly and affordably.
If you’re not sure how to go about designing your cards, you can research some tips online. Hundreds of websites can offer you color theory advice and show you the other ins and outs of business card design!
When Should You Hand Out Your Cards?
You have your beautiful business cards – now where do you take them? Some of the best venues are closer than you think.
Bring your cards to a job fair to stand out and be memorable, or to an internship recruitment fair for the same reasons listed above.
You’ll likely have the contact information of the people you work with regularly at an internship, but keep some business cards on hand for any interesting people you happen to meet throughout your internship.
Business cards are great tools for connecting at networking events. If you’ve had a great conversation with someone, you can ask if they have a business card and offer up yours instead of scrambling to take down their email.
If you’re a college student, chances are you’ve attended more than one panel discussion. Colleges and universities often hold these to introduce students to professionals in the industries where they want to work. You should bring your business cards to these panel events and hand them out to one or two panelists if you start up a conversation with them after the panel. Introduce yourself, explain what you liked about the panel, and hand them your card – you never know what could lead to a future opportunity!
Business cards are an extension of yourself and of your brand. While many college students and young professionals today may feel that they’re unnecessary, they are actually a great tool to help you look and feel your best. Whether you’re attending a job fair or a networking event, having something to hand future potential employers shows that you are confident and serious about entering the workforce. Designing business cards is easy and inexpensive, and there are hundreds of options to ensure your card is as unique as you are. Before your next professional event, consider printing even a few cards to get you started – you may be surprised by the results.