I am going to make a grand assumption…
I bet you have a stack of other people’s business cards somewhere around your workspace that you kind-of, sort-of, should really, do something with—if only you knew what/where/when/how and/or had the time to do it.
Am I right?
We all end up with this business card dilemma for two specific reasons.
- We don’t have a system in place to deal with incoming cards.
- You’ve been given business cards that are uninspiring and have no clear call to action
So, what do you do?
First: Business Cards = Jobs
So here’s the thing—some of those cards could belong to people who would be great connections for your job search. AND if their cards end up lying around on your desk, YOUR cards might end up lying around on theirs!
Second: Each Business Card Deserves a Follow-Up Message
For every card you receive, you should make an effort to do some sort of follow-up with that person. This can be as simple as sending an email or give them a call. My idea of a good follow-up message goes something like this:
Hi [put their first name in here],
It was great to meet you at [wherever you met them], and I’d love to keep in touch. I’m going to send you a LinkedIn request, and I hope that you will accept.
[If there was something specific you talked about, refer to it here. Maybe send them a link to an article on the subject they might find interesting]
Take care, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
Third: Make Sure Your Business Cards have a Clear Call to Action
If you’re tired of receiving business cards from other people that are uninspiring and give you no reason to follow-up, then learn from their mistakes.
Make sure your business cards provide a clear call to action so the receiver actually wants to follow-up.
Here’s what you should keep in mind when creating your business cards:
ALWAYS use double sided business cards.
On one side of your card, put your contact information—you don’t know how people will want to connect with you— so that means including your email, mobile phone number, and links to your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook Page, website, etc.
Now, on the BACK of your card, put your call to action (CTA). A CTA is simply what you are looking for. The CTA will provide guidance to your new contact making it easier for them to help you. You can also create a Quick Response Code (QR) that will create a smart phone readable scan connecting to your online resume, Y-Tube video, blog or other online content that will support your job search.
The Bottom Line: Now … get to it!
Now that you know how to use your business cards (and those you collect from others) to power your job search I urge you to put the information to work go from the business card to the job.