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Business cards: Don’t leave home without them

We wouldn’t think of going anywhere without our wallets and our cell phones, right? If you’re looking for a job, a few custom business cards could be as valuable as anything else tucked in your wallet. Say you’re in a bookstore or coffee shop with a friend, and he introduces you to another friend, someone who works in a company that you admire. You can hand that guy your card to pass along to his supervisor.

Online companies like Moo and Vistaprint make creating your own business cards an easy and inexpensive step for job seekers. Get as creative as you like, as best suits your chosen field. Fun typography and layout pack an important punch in creative fields such as marketing and communications. The sciences and business call for a little more reserve, usually.

Under your name, include your career objective or LinkedIn headline:

Gillian Smith

Passionate environmentalist, seeking entry-level urban planning position in Boston and surrounding areas.

You can keep your contact information basic: cell phone number and e-mail address. Or you could add the url—or even a QR code—that sends people to your LinkedIn profile or personal website.

In a high-tech world, your printed business card makes even more of an impression. It’s a convenient, high-touch way to network with others.

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