Each week, TopResume's career advice expert, Amanda Augustine, answers reader questions like the one below. A certified professional career coach (CPCC) and resume writer (CPRW), Amanda has been helping professionals improve their careers for over 10 years. Have a question for Amanda? Submit it here.

Q: What should I put on my business cards if I'm currently employed but looking to make a career change?

"How do I make business cards to brand myself when I don't like my present job and I'm currently searching for another?" — Precious

In today's fast-paced, digital society, creating business cards may seem like an outdated practice.

“Doesn't everyone just connect online?”, you may ask.

While social media platforms like LinkedIn have made connecting with new acquaintances easier, they haven't quite taken the place of a good ol' business card exchange. And if you're in the market for a new job, your business cards take on a whole new level of importance.

Anthony Gaenzle says it best in his article on the importance of business cards:

“[Imagine] … you're at a networking event and you meet a VP of Marketing who just so happens to work for your dream employer ... Naturally, you want to keep in touch … Instead of pulling out your phone and scrolling through LinkedIn profiles mid-conversation, simply hand your new contact your ... business card and do all the follow-up work later — it will save time and come across as much more professional. Business cards are still the expected and most respected method of sharing contact information during in-person meetings, so don't disappoint …”

I firmly believe all job seekers should invest in a set of business cards with their personal contact information so they're ready to capitalize on every networking opportunity. If you're currently employed and interested in making a career change, these business card tips will help make the transition smoother.

Business cards are still the expected and most respected method of sharing contact information during in-person meetings.

When it comes to designing a set of business cards for your job search, less is usually more. Make sure your business cards contain the following primary information:

  • First and last name
  • Job title
  • Email address
  • Mobile phone number

Use a personal email address and phone number that are in no way associated with your current employer. If you possess an advanced degree or certification that's considered to be a valuable selling point for your new career path, be sure to include its initials after your name. For example, if you previously worked in HR and decided to change careers to become a career coach, you should list the initials for your career coach certification, once you've earned it, after your name: “Amanda Augustine, CPCC”

When it comes to selecting a job title, use something similar to what you decide to list at the top of your career change resume in the professional title and summary section. It doesn't have to be a job title you currently possess. Rather, the job title should reflect your current job goals. If you feel uncomfortable listing a job title that you haven't yet held on the business card, you have the option to add an additional line.

For instance, if you were a recruiter who decided to change careers and pursue work in sales, the following might be a good job title and tagline to add to your business cards:

Sales Professional

Sales candidate with experience excelling in recruitment.

While the job title is not absolutely mandatory, these additional details on your business cards will jog the memory of the people you meet and ensure they associate you with your chosen career path.

In addition to these mandatory pieces of information, consider adding a link to your LinkedIn profile, online portfolio, or blog, depending on what is most relevant for your target career path. These details will provide the other person with the information they'll need to stay connected and get a better sense of your qualifications.  

Bottom line: Think of your business cards as an extension of your personal brand and make sure they match your new job goals. Click on the following link for more business cards tips.

Click on the following link for more tips for career change success.

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