I’ve talked previously about Five Things To Do Right After (Any) Event. College is full of opportunities to meet new people, get into interesting conversations or discover new passions. The contacts that you make may seem random and not applicable to the professional world waiting outside college, yet you never know which one of the people you meet may become your future mentor, your best friend, or your future employer.
Student life does not ordinarily revolve around business cards. But it is important to start building your personal brand already during your university years. Doing so will get you ahead of the majority of your classmates and will serve you well when the time comes to start applying for that first job.
Having business cards on hand will help when…
… you suddenly meet an employee of a company you’d like to work or intern for
… you want to differentiate yourself at a careers’ fair
… a recruiter asks for your contact information
… you want to seem professional
… you receive someone’s card and they ask for yours as well
… you’re talking to someone who has your dream job and you want to be able to follow up and get some more tips on how to get where they are
What should I put on my card?
As a student, your cards will not be company-branded. This gives you the freedom to include what you think is appropriate, such as:
- your full name
- the name of your university, your major and expected year of graduation
- your contact address
- email address, telephone number
- blog url or links to social media profiles (such as LinkedIn)
- your skills or most impressive experience
- the industry you’d like to enter or a short byline describing what sort of opportunities you’re looking for
The easiest way to get your cards printed is to do it online. Vistaprint offers templates for easy design or, my favourite, Moo cards will let you print each card with a different design/photo on the back side. You can thus customise every single card and use your stack as a portfolio. For even more impact, consider using the back of your card to showcase your portrait, photos that you have taken, your designs or ideas, pictures of what you’ve built/constructed, projects you’ve been involved with, etc.
Start building your personal brand now with business cards that reflect who you are and where you want to go.
Have you used business cards as a student before? Tell us about your experience in the comments.
Anna is a Social Media Marketing Assistant at Pepsmedia, based in Cambridge, UK. Having graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2010 with a degree in Social and Political Sciences, she joined the small team straight out of university and is now helping businesses engage with customers online and build communities. She is passionate about the use of social media both in business and for individuals. To find out more, read her Life With Social Media blog, or connect with her on Twitter @annamanasova and LinkedIn.