Business cards are the currency of exchange in the business world. Whenever business people meet for the first time, they do the "business card shuffle," each one circling to the next until cards have been exchanged by all. For a job seeker, what you obviously want to be placing into the hands of the business people you are meeting is a resume - which is fine when you're at a user group meeting or a networking event and you've got your folio stuffed with resumes with you. But let's face it, you don't walk around 24/7 with a stack of resumes in hand. As any good career coach will tell you, when you are networking for a job, you want to be prepared to give your "30 second commercial" to anyone, anytime, including your wife and kids. (See Getting Hired Issue 26 on how networking can often times be more effective than sending out resumes.)
So after striking up a conversation with a hiring manager you've just met at your neighbor's dinner party, what do you leave with this person after they've expressed some interest in your job search? Sure, you could exchange contact information on scraps of napkins, but the classier thing to do would be to present your "job search business card," a simple business card you've prepared which displays the following information:
(on the face side of card)
(on the flip side of card)
There are any number of options on the Internet to get very reasonably priced business cards printed in a matter of days. Simply do a search on "business cards." You can even print them at home using kits from companies like Avery.
Keep several of these cards in your pocket at all times and you will always be prepared to leave a person with something that looks smart and professional after that chance networking encounter arises.
As always, we at Stout Systems are interested in hearing how your job search is going. Feel free to drop us an email at email@example.com.