Being your own biggest professional advocate means knowing how to represent and pitch yourself to current and prospective employers, colleagues, and other career influencers. So if there’s one piece of personal advocacy/networking advice I could pass on to admins it would be this: Never show up at an event without some way of representing yourself professionally. And one of the best ways I’ve found to do this is with personal business cards.
Why You Need Personal Business Cards
Many companies provide employees with their own business cards. However, if yours doesn’t offer them, or you want the ability to promote yourself professionally without the association of your current employer, creating your own personal business cards can go a long way in helping you represent yourself professionally.
Personal business cards aren’t just for job-seekers either; anyone who wants to make an impression professionally can benefit from having their own cards. Personal business cards give you the ability to hand someone you meet a concrete reminder of who you are and what you do, and give them a way for getting in touch with you later on — all advantages that any admin can benefit from.
What to Include on Your Personal Business Cards
You should include any contact information — such as your name, phone number, and email — that you want to share on your cards. However, keep in mind, you probably will be handing them out to people you don’t know, so you may not want to include your address. Links to your social media sites, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, are great options for the backside of your card, as long as you’re using them for professional purposes and they’re appropriate. You should also include the link to your professional e-portfolio if you have one. (And if you don’t, you should get started on creating one today!)
Printing Your Personal Business Cards
Printing your cards is fairly simple, and can easily be done at home with your own printer or at your local copy store if you don’t have a printer. If you’re going to print your own cards, I highly recommend the Avery Two-Side Premium Clean Edge Business Cards #5871, as they don’t have the perforated edges like many print-at-home options.
There are also several online companies that offer inexpensive business cards if you prefer not to print yours yourself. I personally like VistaPrint, which offers a limited number of free business cards, as well as several inexpensive options.
If you show up to any professional event without a means of representing yourself, you’re doing yourself a big disservice. Not having your own personal business cards – or some other way to make people remember you – can mean lost opportunities, connections, and potentially even your chance at a dream job. Do yourself a favor and create some business cards so that you don’t miss out on a single chance to make a lasting first impression!
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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures.