Most job search experts agree that having a professionally-printed business or calling card is a vital element of an effective job hunt networking campaign.  Not only does such a card allow you to exchange information with the people you meet in a quick and effective way, but it also reinforces the degree of importance you place on your career and your ongoing commitment to building quality relationships.

While most people simply create a card containing their basic contact information, however, many savvy networkers report even better results when they add a “focus line” or “branding statement” that clearly indicates their area of expertise.  For example, at a recent networking session we hosted, we received a handful of cards from job seekers that included messages as straightforward as “Process Design & Performance Improvement” and as intriguing as “Creating Success” and “Turning Rejects Into Revenue.”  Granted, it might take some thought to craft just the right phrase, but adding a statement of this type to the front or back of your card will help the recipient remember your professional emphasis and will be an important part of your overall campaign to distinguish yourself and create a unique value proposition (aka “brand”) around your candidacy.

In terms of obtaining your own set of cards, there’s always the option of visiting Office Depot or contracting with a professional printer, but most people these days seems to find the best deals via the Internet.  For many years we’ve recommended Vistaprint as one viable source, although their “free” cards do come with a small corporate promotional logo on the back which some people don’t appreciate.  As an alternative, you might check out the beautiful full-color cards that are available from on-line vendor www.color-business-cards.com.  One of our clients recently took advantage of their service and the results were highly impressive!