The Business Card Resume
"Have you heard about a 'mini-resume' that fits on a personal business card?" one of my readers asked. "I was wondering about your opinion on these resume cards. Part of me says it's a good thing, another part not so much."
The first time you hear about a business card resume, it can sound like a gimmick, and you should know better than to waste valuable job search time pursuing gimmicks. That said, business cards are an accepted sales tool the world over, and for a job hunter they're so much less intrusive than carrying around a wad of resumes under your arm.
If you want to try a business card resume, you must consider the severely limited space available to you and use that space wisely:
Front Of The Card
- Include critical information. Your name, target job title, telephone number and email address.
- Use legible, business-like fonts. (Times Roman, Arial).
- Make it readable. Limit the word count so that you can maximize font size to increase readability; better to have one legible email address than add a social network address and have them both illegible.
- Use a larger font. No one in a position to hire you can read an 8-point font. And reminding someone that they are old and have failing eyesight -- not a good sales pitch.
Back Of The Card
Space is minimal, so less is more and readability is everything; the words you choose must communicate both your understanding of the job and your ability to deliver when you are doing that job.
- Repeat your target job title.
- This is followed by a two-word headline on the next line: Performance Profile
- Then follow this with a single short sentence that addresses the No. 1 deliverable of your target job. The No. 1 deliverable in your job (and all jobs) is the identification, prevention and solution of problems within that specific area of professional expertise. It is ultimately what we all get hired to do.
- Finish with a social network address that delivers a comprehensive professional profile to any interested reader, such as your LinkedIn profile, your Web-based resum, or any other URL that delivers the full story on your professional capabilities.
As an example we can all relate to, an accounting professional who worked in Accounts Receivable might have the flip side of a business card resume that looks something like this:
Notice that by starting this mini-resume with a verb, you not only show understanding of what is at the heart of this job, you also deliver a powerful personal brand statement by telling the reader what to expect.
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