what should be on my business cards?

A reader writes:

I am job-hunting and heading to a regional, industry-specific conference next week. My last position was seasonal and ended with October, and I will be brought back intermittently until the season starts again (pending finding other work).

At this conference, I would like to fully take advantage of any networking opportunities I can, and I would like to have a business card to hand out. However, I don’t have any from my last/current position, and I’m not sure what goes on it. Name, email, and phone of course. Should I have a ”title”-esque descriptive line, like “Chocolate Teapot Professional”? Any graphics? Fonts? (I plan on printing these on my home printer, so I know simple is better.) All the examples I’m finding are extremely creative and flashy, and not at all helpful for my field.

As a nonprofit hiring manager, what would trigger you to remember that impressive person you met at a conference?

Name, email, phone number, and a title describing what you do.

I’m curious to hear if others disagree, but in my opinion, graphics and fonts don’t make a difference for people in non-design professions, unless they’re really, unusually good (like better than 95% good) — otherwise, they’re either a neutral or, depending on your choices, a negative. I’d go with basic and professional.

And keep in mind that you don’t want to rely on the look of your business card to make people remember you. The conversation and rapport you build — and your follow-up soon after the event — is what should do that.

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