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A Clever Networking Tool for Business Students

Listen up, MBA degree or entrepreneurial majors: if you're not already networking, you're missing exceptional opportunities to build your career. Everyone you meet during the course of your day--online or at campus--represents a possible connection to earnings and career stability. Don't wait until graduation or your first job to have a set of business cards printed for you to hand people at meetings, in the gym, at social gatherings, trade shows, conventions, family picnics, or a trip to the hardware store.

You won't have an employer or job title to put on your business card, so let's call this essential marketing tool a "networking card". Ideally you'll want a card that shows you're serious about business or entrepreneurship, that provides a lasting impression of your professionalism, and has clear contact information.

Be sure the card looks professionally designed. Avoid a quick print-at-home cards punched onto cheap paper stock. Here are some essentials for a networking card:

Cite Your Specializations and Skills Upfront
You may not have a job title, but that's insignificant. Focus on your objective or sales proposition. For example:

  • Heidi Anderson, Marcom Specialist
  • James Thurston, Financial Analyst
  • Martin Driscoll, Investment Adviser
  • Jamie Hammerhill, Entrepreneur

Consider Your Card Your Resume
List bullet points of your experience or accomplishments on your card. Many students consider posting these on the back of their cards, leaving a clean look on the front. Be sure to update your accomplishments if they significantly add to your skill sets.

Provide Permanent Contact Information
Don't use a temporary address or telephone number if you can help it. If you have a website and business-personal (rather than school) email, feature them prominently. Put an active telephone number on the card or write your cell number on it as you hand it to your potential contact.

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