Sure, an immaculate GPA is nice. But if that’s all you have by the time you graduate, you’ve missed the point of the college experience. While you were busy studying, your peers were gaining valuable contacts in their field. Most importantly, they were building their personal brands.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to build your brand is by creating business cards. And you can make them yourself on Adobe Illustrator. Anybody who’s anybody has a business card on hand when a schmoozing opportunity presents itself.
“I think it would be a fantastic idea for all students to get them,” said Point Park University senior Ashley Jasin, who has had her own business cards for about two years now. “It’s a way to individualize yourself and set yourself apart from other potential job seekers. It’s [also] a great tool for networking events since many employers will remember business cards over resumes.”
If you can sell yourself, employers looking to hire won’t remember that you had to retake econ. They’ll remember the person that made them believe they’re worthy of their time, and giving said employer a business card will ensure they can put a name to the face that impressed them so much.
“When people assume you’re a competent adult professional person, the last thing you want to do is have to correct them,” said University of Pennsylvania senior Hannah Keyser.
George Washington University graduate student Scott Oklin got his first business cards as a freshman at Washington & Jefferson College. He said that he didn’t find much use for them during his time as an undergrad, but he uses them extensively at GW.
“[I use them] mostly during networking events and primarily as a way to get the other person I’m talking to give me his card so I can contact him,” said Oklin. “It’s sort of like they feel obligated to give you theirs once you pull yours out.”
Oklin also mentioned that the first student he met at GW took him out to lunch, told him about the school’s MBA program and gave him his business card.
“I stayed in touch with him and used his card for his email,” said Oklin. “And now I’m interning for him and his boss with the [Washington] Redskins. So it definitely came in handy.”
It’s pretty clear that a business card is a must for anyone trying to promote his or her brand on the job market. Best part: you can make them yourself at home. All you need is a copy of Adobe Illustrator and a little creativity.
10 Steps to Creating Your Business Cards
1.) On Illustrator, build a two by three-and-a-half inch template.
2.) Turn on “Guides” (go to View > Guides > Show Guides).
3.) Set up the color mode to CMYK (File > Document Color Mode > CMKY).
4.) If the smart grid color is too light, darken it via Edit > Preferences > Guide & Grid.
5.) Design your business card using the tool bar on the left side.
6.) Get creative with the pen, pencil, or line tools.
7.) Insert text using the type tool.
8.) Fill in the background or upload a personal or university logo (import via File > Place > Available Images)
9.) Select your text and go to Type > Create outline.
10.) Print your business cards!