Get a business card for your job search
When you meet people in the course of business, you exchange business cards. When you meet them as part of your job, the card has your work information. When you're "in transition" (don't you love the euphemisms attached to the job search?), you need your own card. When you meet people who can help you, you don't want to hand them your name and contact information on a scrap of paper. Business plans on a napkin? Sure. But your name, contact information, and positioning go on a card.
Dave Taylor suggests best practices in business card design (via Dennis McDonald). I think there's room for interpretation in some of these, but it's worth reading his list to see how some people will evaluate your cards.
- Have a Credible Email Address
- Avoid Typos
- Don't Include Too Much Information
- Add Some Color
- Leave The Back Blank
- Have Business Cards
- And A Special Category For PR Folk... "
Business cards are easy to get. I've used VistaPrint twice and been pleased with the results (though buying from them leads to an unending stream of offers and surveys in your inbox). You can design your own card or use one of their templates. I don't think most recipients will care, as long as the card looks appropriately professional for your field.
Once you have a business card for your job search, carry it with you. Once you've paid to make a positive impression with a real card, you wouldn't it to be at home when you meet someone who can help.