Post-College Chronicles: Business Cards

As a recent graduate that has been job-hunting for months now, here is some useful information about business cards that all job-seekers–especially recent graduates–might find useful.

The Usefulness of Business Cards

Whether you’re looking to start your own business or join a company, a business card is a must for the jobsearch because it makes it so much easier to network and share info. Business cards not only allow a jobseeker to give out their relevant info (contact methods and general job target), but they’re also more compact and easier to share and carry around than constantly a pack of paper resumes. More importantly, as a recent graduate, having business cards to give out can set-up some social dynamics that can be beneficial in both the short- and long-term.

Business CardsWhen you’re just starting out, people don’t expect you to have a card so this already will set many apart from other jobseekers, but they also initiate a quick exchange of contact information. Most of the people hiring and other established professionals always carry around business cards, so when you give them yours, it will usually trigger them reciprocating and giving their cards to you — which is a main benefit to you. In the short-term, you’ve given quickly given them your information, so if you made a good impression and they already know of something, the person might give you a call. In the long-term, you’ve given yourself the ability to contact someone who could be a good source of information or leads.

Free Business Cards

Business cards are pretty expensive when you’re just starting out so I recommend using a starter pack from any printing type of business or office supply company. A good option is Vistaprint which allows a first time customer to print 250 cards for free from select templates. Although, all of the cards are free, the user will still need to pay for shipping costs (which was about $4 and is still way cheaper than paying the average of $25 or more for a set).

So, stay focused on your job-hunt and other endeavors and add some free business cards to your set of tools in networking.

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Reflection: Fieldwork and Investigative Writing

Fieldworking and investigative writing was a new experience for me. Although I had never written anything like this, I thought my previous experience in writing news articles for a student newspaper (mainly covering school or community events) would help with this form of writing. Specifically, I thought my previous experience in interviewing strangers for articles might make it slightly easier for me to walk up and question random people — but this wasn’t the case.

The end of a career panel on jobs in the field of Human Resources in the Blue & Gold Room of the CareerCenter.

The end of a career panel where attendees get to talk with the guest speakers, as well as each other.

It wasn’t just the common experience of finding people unwilling to talk on record (a regular bump in these forums that will hold public quotes and sources accountable for any statement). But what I hadn’t realized was that I was simply rusty. It had been more than two years since I had officially interviewed someone to be used as a source and most of my recent writing has been limited to academic essays, with audiences enclosed to the limited circle of professors, graduate student instructors (GSIs), and classmates. In addition the time-heavy requirements of my classes and assignments had made me overly used to solitude. So, when I wanted or tried to talk to new people for the purpose of having them as a source, I would become hesitant and fearful of the interaction — a reaction I thought I had conquered years ago. But it came back. As I approached potential sources, I stuttered and and my mind blanked. It was as if I had lost the interviewing skills I previously had.

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