I often get asked for tips on designing a business or contact card. My response is to keep it simple. The goals are for the recipient of the card: 1) to be able to easily contact you; and 2) even more importantly, remember who you are.
Here’s a few tips on how to effectively design a contact card to keep on hand for networking purposes. Avoid any flowery designs or nonessential wording. Just include your contact information and a few highlights of your professional activities. For an example, my business card (featured here) contains the following components:
Front of card:
- Business name (if applicable)
- Name, degree optional (e.g., MS)
- list of your top 3 or 4 skills/services offered
- personal website URL or custom LinkedIn URL*
Back of card: There are options for a back section on a card to include more information that is relevant for your professional needs. For example, I included my custom LinkedIn URL and a QR code to my LinkedIn profile that people can scan with their phone, in case that makes it easier for them to connect with me. Other options for the back of a card include features like appointment reminders, or leave it blank and hand write a message to help the person remember why they should contact you.
On a side note, if you want to use the logo for the university/company with whom you are affiliated then you will need to use their printing services due to copyright issues. However, if you want to promote yourself professionally as independent from an entity (perhaps for consulting opportunities) then use a vendor like VistaPrint or Staples and make a customized card.
*You can customize the URL for your LinkedIn profile to make it easy to remember; be sure your profile is set to public, go to “edit profile” then click the setting icon next to your LinkedIn URL to “edit your public profile setting”, which displays the option to modify it.