[04.18.09]
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A New Business Card for Networking: FlashCard

This post will help you create a networking business card. It includes a template and a link to a post with great, real-life examples.

If you haven’t been following along, much of my effort lately has been in developing tools. Available for you on my career downloads page. These are tools to help maximize your effort during job search.  And most of them are free.

OK, I guess they are not totally free.  If you would, I’d love to count you as a regular blog reader.  And I’d love it if you would tell your friends about the blog and the tools.  Mostly free, I guess.
This most recent series of tools has been about establishing a solid set of personal marketing materials. I call the whole set my Full Pitch™ series as I hope they help you hit the street with confidence. Confidence, a really good sense of who you are and what specific ways you can positively impact the people you’ll be meeting during job search.
So far, you’ve seen the SoloSheet™.  It’s a networking biography template that gets all of your critical information onto one, easy-to-digest page.  It includes data that will help your network help you – something a professional resume does not accomplish.
Today I have another FREE download to share.  Like the SoloSheet (networking biography), this download is my version of something that is not new.  It is a template for a networking business card you can use while career networking.
Now for all of you who already have a networking business card, be patient with this next paragraph.  You are one step ahead.
Now, for the rest of you who are not using a networking business card as part of your job search communication strategy, it’s time to get started. Why? Well, it gives you a very common and socially accepted tool in business. It also helps you feel valuable and shows personal pride. OK, so it makes you feel like you are still in business. Great.
Each networking business card I see feels bland and includes very little information for someone to take-away from your encounter. Certainly nothing actionable regarding your job search objectives.
So I created a new networking business card format that I’d like you to consider. It gets key data about you onto a very portable item.  One that, once properly filled out, will make for a great reminder of how someone in your network can help you.
And I came up with a name for them. Sorry, I can’t help it. I’m a marketing guy.
Instead of a networking business card, I call it FlashCard™.  Why a FlashCard, you ask? Well, simply, it allows people to remember you and, this is crucial, your specific job objectives . . . in a flash.

So, what does this networking business card look like?  I thought you might ask – front and back are below (my example):

 for job, human interest, career networks, mass media, media technology, business card, job objective, networking business, job search, job descriptions, business cards, learning, flashcard, jobs, card, search, objectives
So, on the front of the networking business card is much of the standard info (name, e-mail, phone number) you might expect.
What’s been added is your positioning statement (right off your one-sheet and resume), 4-6 key strengths (to help people line you up with specifics on a job description) and your Linkedin profile (make sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete and represents you well).  Overall, the front of the networking business card template tells people who you are and how they can get in touch with you. I also left some room at the top if you wanted to add a design element.
The back is where the FlashCard becomes highly actionable.  While I do not recommend putting career objectives on a professional resume, it is crucial that your networking biography and business card have them.  These are the two key documents that you will use in networking, right?  How can someone effectively help you if they forget your job search objectives?  Be as specific as you can and you will get good leads in return.  Make sure to include 5-6 target companies.  Not every company you are targeting, but ones that will help people as they see a job flying by in their in-box.
You may notice the last line on the back:
Add me to your Watchlyst™ at www.timsstrategy.com

Not familiar with the Watchlyst?  Well, you can read about it if you’d like.  Basically, it is a tool for sharing job leads. It helps you keep track of the job objectives of those in your network.  Me?  Help other job seekers?  Yes, absolutely. The Watchlyst gets everything on one sheet so you no longer have to shuffle through a pile of resumes to figure out who should receive that new job lead.
Your job is to get your objectives on the Watchlyst of as many people as you can. If successful, you will receive more qualified leads and your network will feel good that they were able to help.  If you are not a Watchlyst user or do not see the value, you can easily take that copy off the template when you design your cards.
Here’s how the template works.  This is a Microsoft Word template file (.dot). Once downloaded, you can create your cards (front and back) pretty quickly.  I did mine by purchasing an Avery product (#8877) called Clean Edge business cards.  You can pick them up at any office superstore.  I like this method because you can print as many as you want.  If you want to change anything on the card, you can do it any time and be back on the street that same night!
Of course, you can get cards printed many ways.
Go to the career downloads page to download this template (and many more) . . . and, good luck out there.


Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Career Networking

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