The Career Coach is In

What? No business card?

Question:
You told me to network. I go to networking events and everyone is passing out business cards. I am unemployed and don't have one. What should I do?

Answer:
First of all, you are not unemployed. You are "between successes" and your full time job right now is looking for your next opportunity. Having said that, there is no reason for you NOT to have a business card. Despite the fact that you might not have a company name, you still have contact information. I will encourage you to go have some cards made (Office Max, Staples etc.) that have your name, address, e-mail, phone number etc. Some of my clients even include their LINKEDIN address and/or a Web site address if you have one. Make it look professional and on a nice heavy cardstock. You don't need any fancy logos or fonts. Just make it a simple "calling card." If you want to make them from your own printer, just be sure to use a nice card stock and not a flimsy one. Vistaprint, a mail-order online printing company, provides them at a reduced price as well. I don't recommend the free ones.

And yes, many people today exchange this information electronically through their BlackBerry's, iPhones, etc. However, having an actual printed business card can say a lot about your brand, your image and your professionalism. Go out today and get yours so when you go to your next networking event, you are prepared.

By

Marshall Brown

 |  October 14, 2010; 6:36 AM ET  |  Category:  Career Management , Job Search , Networking , Personal Branding Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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During my working life I found the resume to be extremely valuable.

My first attempt at using one was at my retirement from the US Military. The navy, Naval retirement organizations were of great help. but the person that was of the most help was an experienced secretary that offered her help.

Resumes should be tailored for the employer to which you are applying for work.

My problem was I was retiring from the US Navy and putting my experiences and skills into civilian jargon was necessary if anybody was going to understand it.

I was an Aircraft Maintenance Chief, a Jet Engine and related systems Mechanic. I leaned heavy on management and organizing skills, mechanical skills, leadership, troubleshooting and problem solving.

At my first try I picked ten companies in the area where I wanted to live and rated them according to which one I would rather work for. I hand delivered them starting with the one I would least like to work for. At that first company I was interviewed that day.

His first words were, "How did you get in here." he was very rude. six months later I sat in a conference room dealing with him and I had the hammer, and he knew it; I had what he wanted.

The tenth and last on my list was where I went to work - just three miles from home, and the best paying - and I was on my way in civilian management. I left two civilian companies, my idea, twice after that. I did one resume and hand delivered it before I quit. I was interviewed and hire that same day. The next, I mailed two resumes, and was hired by both them, three months apart. The first company told me it would be three months before they could start me. The next one hired me on the spot.

It has been written that 90 percent of whether or not you do well at an interview depends on if the interviewer likes you the second he sees you. If you send a picture with your resume he will perhaps make that decision the moment he looks at your picture eliminating any possibility of your personality doing you any good.

Try to think like an interviewer.

Posted by: ramseytuell | October 18, 2010 9:26 AM
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I've had problems with VistaPrint. I highly recommend Overnight Prints. Lots of nice looking designs that you can add your info to. Good heavy stock, glossy if you choose, fast turnaround. People compliment my cards all the time.

Posted by: lalalu1 | October 18, 2010 12:55 AM
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