Question: Should I have business cards if I’m entry level and interested in more than one industry?” –Tara R., Chicago
Answer: It certainly doesn’t hurt to get business cards printed, regardless of whether or not you’re entry level or a seasoned veteran. Business cards are a great way to supplement a conversation with a new person and offers a convenient way of passing along your basic information.
Even in this digital age, I would argue that having physical business cards is still relevant and beneficial. They can act as a quick way to establish connections without the chatter of the internet (re: your flooded LinkedIn inbox).
The simplest format to abide by—you can rework the layout and/or content as you gain more experience—is the modern, minimalist one. This will simply include your name and contact information (phone/email). Printed on inexpensive yet sturdy cardstock with an eye-catching yet legible font, this type of card is a great, universal way to start conversations.
With your business cards in tow, you’re now free to distribute them as you see fit—after a networking event, happy hour or even a chance run-in on the street with an old acquaintance is an ideal time to pass them along. Of course, you should also be exchanging your cards and following up with those you receive them from—there’s no use in merely collecting dozens of cards.
The best business cards don’t just begin a single conversation. Consider your card the ticket to a mutually beneficial relationship!
Nurys Harrigan-Pedersen is president of Careers In Nonprofits, the experts in nonprofit staffing and recruiting with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C.