Everyone knows that dreaded feeling you get in your stomach when you realize you are unprepared for something. Whether you forgot you had an exam or that an assignment was due, it’s one of the most uncomfortable situations ever. Most of the time, you can shuffle these things under the rug by keeping your calm or making up some excuse that buys you more time, but in the real world there are no excuses.
So let’s take that unprepared feeling and apply it to a situation I have had the misfortune of experiencing. During my junior year of college, I was pursuing a bachelor’s degree with a minor, while working twenty plus hours a week at Lowes Foods. When one customer found out that I was in school for graphic design, he immediately stated that he had been looking for someone to work on a brochure for his daughter’s business. Before leaving, he turned to me and said, “Do you have a business card I can take?”
There was that feeling, except it was multiplied ten fold because I was standing in front of coworkers when it was asked, in public, and in front of a potential client. The answer was, as you can guess, no, I did not have a business card. But you better believe that I had one created and several loaded into my wallet within the next month so I never had to be in that situation again.
This brings us to the point of my anecdote: You should have a business card even if you are a college student with no job experience and an unfinished degree.
So why else should you have a business card?
It’s no secret that more people are graduating from college now than ever before. Out of the almost 2 million students that are going out into the world to find a job, the question is: how are you going to stand out?
Business cards are a great way to leave a physical lasting impression with a person after a conversation has ended. In a world where everyone is on social media, old-fashioned print tells someone that you care about more than just interaction through a screen, which makes you more personable.
Some simple tips to remember when creating a business card:
- The must-have information includes your name, email, and phone number.
- Your card should also communicate your professional interest even if you haven’t completed your degree.
- Do not include your status as a student on your business card. The term “student” can often be a red flag regardless of your experience and achievements.
- Make it personable. In addition to your name, you can add an icon or simple image that represents something related to your career focus.
- Keep it simple. A business card is a not a mini resume for someone to carry around in their pocket.
- Get your business cards printed from a professional on quality paper.
- Print enough to be able to hand out your business card to a wide range of employers all at once.
If you’re feeling that financial strain (as all college students do) and aren’t sure how you could possibly come up with the money to get these things printed, there are options. With these two websites, you can get a business cards created in less than 20 minutes and for under 20 bucks:
Both Moo and Vistaprint offer a wide variety of options for creating business cards tailored to your specific needs. You can choose from hundreds of templates, sizes, and features for your business card. You can also directly upload a design that you have already completed. These websites are also notorious for flash deals and coupons throughout the year, so it’s a great idea to check in frequently or sign up for email alerts.
By following these steps, you’ll be on the way to getting yourself ahead of your fellow students and making yourself stand out from the crowd.
Want to keep the ball rolling? Check out our post on Resume Design, to overhaul your resume.