A couple of weeks ago, I was at a family gathering and the unemployment rate came up in conversation. Normally, I sit back and listen while family members debate the issues. This time it was different.
The issue: why internships can be a job seeker's best opportunity. My dad brought up the point that with the unemployment rate being what it is; people need to start rediscovering the value of learning a trade, taking an internship, and volunteering.
Sure, you may start out earning nothing, but it is a chance to get noticed and to gain traction in an industry that may lead to insider employment opportunities.
This post is for young professionals and creative minds in training. I'd like to take a moment to explain why it's never too early to start making professional connections. More than that, I encourage you to keep reading and find out how Plastic Printers can help you make a memorable entrance into your professional life.
Learning What Money can't buy
I had to agree with the insightful piece of fatherly advice because, when I graduated college almost a decade ago, that’s exactly what I did.
I wanted to be a writer, but the job market was less than flush and I had no idea how to break into the business. On the advice of a college professor, I took an internship at a local literary center in downtown Minneapolis.
While it did not lead me to a paying job at the center; the internship gave me a love for fundraising, public relations, graphic design, and marketing. These skills allowed me to use my love of writing in ways I never imagined, and the internship unlocked strengths I never knew I had.
The experience taught me more than a paycheck could ever buy. It's time we encouraged up-and-coming professionals to discover the intrinsic value gained through internships and networking opportunities.
By this point, you're probably wondering how I got that internship in the first place. Yes, it helped that my professor gave me a recommendation, and that I was already a published writer, but I still had to prove myself. I still had to apply and interview for the position.
With all I learned in those first two years out of college, there is one thing I forgot.
Creating a Portable Resume
By your senior year in college, the realities of entering adult life start to close in. You begin furiously working on a resume, spending time in the career services office, and using your free time to track down job leads. These are all good steps, but you can't-and shouldn't-carry your resume with you everywhere you go.
There is a better way to search for a job or internship. It's a secret I wish I knew before I graduated. By all means, develop and polish a professional resume, but don't forget the business card that goes with it.
That's right; by the time you graduate college you should have your first business card at-the-ready. It sounds strange, doesn't it? I thought so, until I found out more about it. It turns out business cards for young people are not only encouraged; they're expected.
These days, working professionals want to see what you can bring to the table. That said, they don't want to sit down and review your resume to figure it out. A business card, especially your first business card, is the perfect opportunity to show them what you are capable of in a portable, miniaturized version.
Don't know what that looks like? Here's what it should include:
- Your name
- Your e-mail address and phone number (do not include a mailing address unless you have a permanent one)
- Area of study either preceded by the word "aspiring" or followed by the word "professional" i.e. aspiring architect or communications professional
- If you have your own website or blog include a QR code on the card
- Make sure to use double-sided printing so that the back of the card can be a snapshot of your resume. Only include the highlight reel and any awards, special recognition, or community involvement that sets you apart.
What your Business Card says about you
There are a couple of additional rules:
- Do not use a campus e-mail address on the card. Open up a personal e-mail account and use that. It looks more professional.
- Feel free to be creative, just don't go overboard. You want to be memorable and also be taken seriously.
- Include information that shows your strengths and ambitions. If you have a unique set of skills, it could help you make connections that lead to a job. Make sure to include those skills on your business card.
- Quality matters. Do not invest your time and energy in DIY online business card design from a plug-and-play website. It will show and it will reflect badly on you.
That last point brings me to what Plastic Printers can do with business cards for young professionals.
You may not know what you're capable of or how to transfer that information onto a business card, but our designers can help you make a standout business card. All it takes is teamwork.
Simply enter a few details into our design tool on the website www.plasticprinters.com. We'll contact you within 48 hours with suggestions and mockups that show how you can capitalize on your strengths and make them work for you.
Free templates and redesign help are available on the website too.
With help from our company, you will be able to network and make connections like a pro. A business card can be your secret weapon that lands you your dream job. Contact or chat with us and learn more today!