As you transition out of the military workforce and begin searching for jobs in the civilian sector, you’ve probably done a number of things to help put your best foot forward. You’ve done your research, created a civilian friendly resume, have a fantastic elevator speech, and have been working on growing your network.
You think you’re ready, but you might have overlooked one key piece in helping you land your dream job.
It might sound old school, but having a business card to hand to a hiring manager is going to set you apart from the rest of the candidates.
A business card shares an important first impression of who you are and what you stand for. It reminds the hiring manager of how you’ve represented yourself during your interview. It’s invaluable as you network with potential employers since you’re not always going to have a copy of your resume with you on hand.
What does a business card give you?
It’s not just a piece of paper with your name, phone number, and email address. It’s a marketing tool. When created well, it’s going to reflect your professionalism, interests, and goals. It gives you a chance to network with confidence – handing over a business card at a networking event signals that you’re on the job search and you’re ready to work. It also gives potential employers a link to your online profileswhich provide more info about your background, experience, skills, and goals.
To make your business card serve you well, consider the following. It should be:
Comprehensive – Make sure to include all of your relevant information including name, phone number, email address, and website if you have one.
Easy to Read – Now isn’t the time to choose a funky font. Stick with fonts that are clear and professional. Use capital letters only when relevant (like adding a Master’s degree at the end of your name).
Profession and Simple– Unlessyou’re seeking employment in a creative industry where it makes sense to show of an unconventional style, stick with a white or ivory card color and black, grey, navy, or burgundy lettering. If you have a symbol or logo that should go with your name, then add it in a smaller font next to your name. Don’t include design elements that pull away from the professionalism you’re working hard to convey.
Complete and Uncluttered – A business card isn’t a resume or brochure. Keep it simple but make sure the info is complete.
A Reflection of You – Take a close look at your business card before you start handing them out at events. It should make you feel proud to hand it over.
When created with these guidelines in mind, your business card will quickly become one of your most important assets as you look for work in the civilian sector. There are going to be countless instances where handing over a card will help you to network with a potential employer and help set you apart from the rest of the crowd. Presenting a business card that you’re proud of is a powerful marketing tool. Used well, it might just be what helps you land your dream job.