This is a guest blog post written by Bianca, one of our former Intern Queen Campus Ambassadors from Belmont University.
I’ve spent the last few weeks searching for the perfect business card design, and along the way, I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly a college student should include on their business card. In addition, I’ve been contemplating the prevalence of business cards. In today’s digital society, are business cards still a must? Even though today’s society is so reliant on the Internet and social media, I’ve come to the conclusion that the good old business card isn’t dead yet.
Business people still exchange cards on a daily basis, and they provide the instant convenience of having a person’s name, number, and pertinent contact info all on the perfect sized card. Even though the typical business card is still a staple of the professional world, there are ways you can enhance your business card to reflect the digital world we live in. I’ve created a few tips that will help you create a hip student business card that shows you’re technologically savvy and in the know!
1. Business Card Basics Most college students don’t have an office or a fancy title, so what exactly should students include on their business card? Well, being a college student is your job title! The most important information to include on your business card is your name, your phone number, e-mail, and your basic education info. Most online business card creators are going to leave space for an address, but as a student, you have no office address to disclose. Instead, use that space to list your university, your college class, (ie: Class of 2013), and a quick line about your major, such as “Advertising Professional” or “Student Journalist.” When choosing a phone number, make sure it’s a number that leads callers to a professional voice-mail. If you have the option of providing a land line to your house/apartment, I would suggest that, so you don’t run the risk of receiving a professional phone call while you’re out having fun with your friends or even worse, when your friend decides to play pranks and answer your calls!
2. Make Your Business Card Tech-Savvy with a QR Code QR codes are everywhere these days, from magazines to advertisements in public venues. All it takes is a quick scan with your smart phone, and the QR code leads you instantly to a designated URL. Want to show you’re in the know when it comes to technology? Since most college students don’t have a professional logo, use that space on a business card to include a QR code that directs users to your LinkedIn profile or personal website. Professionals will be quite impressed by your technology know-how, and it will make it much easier for them to check out your full profile, which would otherwise require them to head to a computer or smart phone and type in a long URL. You can create and download a QR code online for free, and it takes seconds! Check out http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ to generate your QR code.
3. The Social Networks – Should I Include Them? One of the most important decisions to make in regards to your business card is whether or not you should include the addresses/usernames of your social networking profiles. I strongly suggest that you include your LinkedIn profile URL or better yet, a personal portfolio URL on your card. What about Twitter? Many businessmen and women today use Twitter to share professional news and communicate with other clients. If you have room on your business card, I would suggest putting your Twitter handle under a couple conditions. First, make sure your Twitter username is professional and simple, such as your name or initials. Secondly, think about how you use Twitter. Do you use it to chat with friends, perhaps inappropriately, or do you use it as a business tool to communicate and follow potential employers? If it’s the latter, go ahead and include your Twitter account. Just keep in mind, that once your Twitter name is out to professionals, you have to keep the crazy and inappropriate tweets in check! Finally, the biggest social network of all: Facebook. I personally use Facebook primarily to communicate with family and friends. I wouldn’t include the URL, unless it’s to a professional fan page of yours, perhaps if you’re an aspiring musician, journalist, or student businessperson.
When creating a student business card, just keep in mind that any information listed needs to be both professional and pertinent. Any form of communication listed needs to be current and appropriate for professional use. Feel free to use a fun design to decorate your card, but again, make sure it’s appropriate and not over-the-top. When you meet a professional at an internship fair or another networking event, you can proudly whip out one of your student business cards, and you’ll make a positive impression instantly. Looking for the perfect and affordable business card printer?
Below are a couple of my favorites!
Tinyprints.com – In addition to business cards, Tiny Prints offers custom address labels and other useful printing services. Tiny Prints offers clean, simple designs and allows you to add pictures for no additional cost. More importantly, you can order as few as 10 cards.
Minted.com – Minted is similar to Tiny Prints but has a wider variety of designs and card shapes. However, the minimum order size is 25 cards.
Vistaprint.com – Vistaprint is by far the most affordable printer and offers an expansive selection of card designs.
Moo.com – Moo has some really neat business cards, including plastic business cards and mini business cards! All of the cards are customizable and can easily be personalized.