We know that more and more networking is becoming a critical part of your career management. As a result, there seems to be much pressure to avoid networking faux pas that will ultimately hurt your chances of building strong relationships those who could influence your career and landing new opportunities.
At networking events, you meet tons of new people, and the pressure is on to make a positive first impression and stick out in the minds of the people you meet. These events can be anxiety-ridden for even the most extroverted people because you know, when it comes down to it, authentic networking is critical.
How do you make a memorable first impression that makes people want to remain in contact with you?
What’s more memorable than leaving the conversation by offering a handshake and a networking card? In fact, this is a great segue to add to your other networking exit strategies.
Likely, you currently have a business card communicating your name, your position, your job title, the company you work for, and you work contact information. What if in networking situations you had a career networking card that showcased your personal brand?
What does a career networking card entail?
- Name: Make sure the name you include on this card mirrors the name you have on your professional social media profiles. Make it easy for people to find you.
- Target Industry/Role: Think about what industry or industries you’d like to explore.
- USP: What is your unique selling position? Think of a short sentence or phrase that sets you apart from others and communicates the value you would bring to any company or organization. When you hand your card to others, you can draw their attention to your USP. A sure-fire way to capture their attention!
- Phone and Email: Use your personal cell phone number and your personal email rather than your contact information at your current position. This way, you can market yourself outside of your current position and you will avoid being typecast into a certain role.
- Social Media: Include the professional social media platforms you utilize.
Having a career networking card, that communicates your targets and value, you can avoid being typecast into a specific industry or role because you are not simply handing them a business card that represents your current position. This card will make you more memorable, communicate your target industry and position, and make it very easy for others to connect with you on LinkedIn or via other modes of communication.