Successfully scoring a job interview depends on many factors, but we can all agree that the process always starts with creating a short but convincing resume. Indeed, it’s pretty convenient to have a CV ready to be handed to a potential employer right away when a fitting job is offered to you but, if you think about it, there are very few instances where having printed out resumes to hand is necessary.
But what if the job opportunity does appear right before you and there is no CV in your pocket to share? A professional job hunter wouldn’t panic in such a situation either, but instead would reach into the other pocket and pull out some networking cards.
What Is a Networking Card?
Although it’s safe to assume that many jobseekers haven’t even heard of networking cards before, it’s a ridiculously simple yet brilliant concept. It’s an easy concept to understand, a networking (business) card is a miniature version of a resume, containing the most essential information about the job hunter – such as their name, phone number, email address, additional websites (including social media profiles) – as well as a short description about the applicant’s skills and achievements.
However, the networking card should most definitely not be considered a business card.
Networking Cards vs Business Cards
Although it doesn’t seem big at first, there is quite a difference between business cards and networking cards.
Like the networking card, the business card also contains essential information about the cardholder, such as name and contact information. However, the business card also features the cardholder’s current job title – often alongside a brief description – and their workplace. Additionally, business cards are usually given to the employee by the employer, though it can also be created by virtually any individual.
Contrary to that, the networking card is never created by employers and will never include the cardholder’s job position or current workplace. However, what these cards do have is more information regarding their career, achievements and skills – often on both sides of the card – making the networking card ideal for those who are looking for a new job and don’t want to carry around a folder full of nothing but resumes. Moreover, these cards are multifunctional: not only are they a preview of the resume that are more conveniently to hand at all times, but they also feature basically everything that a business card does.
Creating Networking Cards
Just as with the case of the business card, there are plenty of options to create professional networking cards. The internet is full of free business card templates, some of which can be downloaded onto the computer for further editing. Others can be edited with online software like the Brother Creative Center or the services of printing companies such as Vistaprint, Canva and the like.
Interestingly, even Microsoft Word has its own solution: by hitting “Mailings” and selecting “Labels” a new pop-up window appears with a box called “Address”, in which the body of the networking card can be composed. However, in order to make sure the page is filled with multiple copies of the card, search for the “Options” button in the same pop-up window, choose “Avery A4/A5” from the list of label vendors and select the product number LR7414. Once all these things are set just hit “New Document” in the same window and voila, your new networking cards are ready to be printed or further customized.
No matter which kind of tool is used to create the networking card, the rules regarding their overall appearance are basically the same in all cases. This means that the card should sport a clean and simple design with plenty of white space to avoid unnecessary clutter. Their text should also be written in an easy-to-read font, that is only as big as it needs to be. And remember that networking cards can have information on both sides, though it is best to leave some empty space should the recipient want to add their own notes.
And as for what information a networking card should always include, for starters it’s of course important to include your name and basic contact info – the likes of your phone number, email address, and links to your sites or LinkedIn profile. As always there is room for other ideas, such as adding QR codes that link to a personal website or LinkedIn profile with more information about the card owner.
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