What should my business card say?

I’m 21, graduated in July, and while there’s been a common thread to what I’ve done work wise- I’ve also somewhat bounced around in different industries.

Be forewarned that the following is a bit long and possibly boring, I just figured the question can’t really be answered without detail.

I worked for 2 1/2 years at a better/upscale well known women’s clothing store- I went from being a sales associate to working in visual merchandising, i.e. doing mannequins, windows- I have this on my resume as “Visual Merchandiser.”

I did my senior year internship at a small menswear boutique where I created press layouts, updated his website/facebook, researched blogs to promote his brand in and acted as a liaison between him and his factory, as well as certain customers. I have this on my resume as “Design and Public Relations Intern.”

After I graduated I worked for 6 months as an assistant at a women’s outerwear company photographing and sketching samples, creating tech packs (a mini booklet containing sketches, photos and measurements of a garment that you send to the factory so they can make it properly), etc. I have this as “Design Assistant.”

Theeeen they kind of went under and I was hired as a manager at a cookie store!, I serve people warm, delicious cookies, oversee catering, open and close the store and do bank transactions. This is just “Assistant Manager.”

I recently got hired (I pray they have the funds to keep me onboard though- I’m a 1099 employee) as the assistant to the director of a company that raises funds for those in the arts and creative industries…so far I’ve done things like reach out to sponsors and I’m organizing the office.

In my spare time I also do small writing projects and blog.

I was thinking of making cards that say Catherine Zeta: Creative Services then underneath something like “MarketingPublic RelationsDesign” or maybe just “Public Relations & Design” if marketing sounds too redundant.

Does that sound cheesy?

I really appreciate everyone’s opinions- one of my projects at my new job is to create business cards, which I should really have for myself as well. I just feel like it’s hard to summarize my experience- I have a hard time with the “headline” on LinkedIn too.

ETA: I am still at the cookie store and my senior internship overlapped with the clothing store- I realized my summary makes me look like I jump around all the time.

I don’t see “marketing” as redundant to anything else on your card.

It doesn’t strike me necessarily cheesy, but it seems very broad and rather vague. The listed terms (creative services, marketing, public relations, design) cover a lot of ground, yet I feel that if I didn’t know what you wrote in your post I wouldn’t have any helpful idea of what you do or what you can do. Create what? Design what?

I can’t say I have any particular suggestion for improvement. I don’t know that the above is a solvable problem – obviously you can’t put your resume on a business card. I’ll leave it to others to judge if your suggested card is quite good or in need of tweaking.

ETA: If you’re intent on staying in the clothing field, I think the card should reference that. If you’re open to other fields, it may have to stay broad and vague.

Hmmm…Maybe I could specify “Apparel Design”? I don’t want to limit myself to just the clothing industry though, and obviously Illustrator (which I use for sketching) can be used for much more than just designing clothes. I could try to find someway to work Illustrator and Photoshop into my card…yarrr…so complicated.

OK, who exactly is supposed to be reading these cards, and what is the card supposed to get them to do?

I’m really not sure whether you want a business card for your fund-raising job (so that people you meet professionally can easily have your contact info), or trying to make some kind of ‘hire-me’ business-card sized resume. If it’s the first, then “Assistant to the Director” and the name of the company is a good start, though you could talk with your boss about whether a different title would be better. If you’re trying to get hired for another job, then you really want a resume, not a business card.

The other reason for a business card is if you’re doing free-lance or consulting, where the card is both your contact info and a mini-advertisement. But if you’re doing that, the first step is again to first decide exactly what you’re selling.

Just a business card to have for networking? I’m constantly meeting people, and some I may want to keep in touch with.

I have a resume.

I’m interested in design and what I specialized in college was design utilizing Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. My actual major was much broader though (we didn’t have minors at the time of my graduation, which is why I refer to Illustrator, etc. as a “specialization”) and I studied marketing and PR along with my work experience which is in customer service.

Catherine Zeta
Email: catherinezeta@xyz.com
Website: catherinezetaiscool.com

If you don’t know what you are, you don’t need a title or a descriptor- for one thing, it saves having a whole lot of new cards printed everytime you change jobs.

You can handwrite whatever you want on the back of the card depending on who you give it to:

“Call me about Marketing!”
“I’d love to design for you!”
“PR is my passion!”
“Blogger extraordinaire”
“Cookie monster”
“Creative genius”
“Fundraising advisor”

This approach combines quirky, personal, memorable and practical.

It’s a very effective self-marketing ploy, and taken to the extreme by some in the industry. My sister is in PR and tells me some people have (very, very fancy) cards with just their names on them- they then decide which contact details and info to put on the card based on who they are giving it to.

That’s a really great idea irishgirl****, I love those little catch phrases too.

Awesome, thank you so much!

Personal business cards? Really?

I thought that was only done by douche’s in college that thought it looked cool to hand out in a bar.

IMO, business cards are for your current job. So in your case it would be:

I’ve used business cards for 40 years or so and I have always tried to keep them simple. My philosophy has been that when you give someone your card he or she has a pretty good idea of who you are and what you do and so all you want to do is make sure he or she can contact you if necessary. My current card has my name, my address, my telephone number, and my email address.

Did you leave something off your current business card?


I think what was left off was the name of the business…my guess.

To the OP, leave off ‘Assistant to the Director.’ There is too much room for some d-bag to say, “Oh, Assistant to the Assistant, hahaha”. Or other stuff.
Also, don’t go too far afield in your job description/title. “Teeth Pulled-$5: Haircut 50 cents” is what comes to mind if you blend titles. What I mean, more specifically, is your ‘PR*Design’ idea tells ME that you can be high powered in a meeting with Phillip Morris, or whatever agency, or, if you can’t cut it, you can go crawling back to the drafting board. I know that’s not the case, but, it gives me that impression.
BTW, I do like 'Visual Merchandiser." It makes me think.

Best wishes,

Don’t forget to put something on the back that will be useful to people so that they will want to keep your card and not throw it out.


My business cards that I give to friends say:

Drinker of Scotch–Cause of Family Strife

My serious ones give my license numbers and stuff like that.

Since I only give my card to people with whom I’ve been discussing what I do and what I can do for them, I don’t bother putting what I do on my card. I think this gives it a more simple, elegant look. And if the person wants to know more about what I do, he or she has my telephone number and email address.

If you’re using it for general networking and not specifically for your job (or perhaps you will change jobs or bounce around a bit), then I agree with irishgirl’s advice. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a general business card with your name and information on it. Although, I would put something on the back that makes them remember you and why they’d want to call you again.

I currently have two business cards. One of them my job provides that has the business name, description and logo, my name and title, the address, phone, fax, website and my work email. The second is for my personal photography business (I sell fine-art prints, jewelry using my photography, and I do free-lance work), so this has my business name and logo, my name and title, my phone number, my email and my website.

I would be careful of how you arrange your information so that the card doesn’t seem too bare. Even with my personal business cards, I was worried there might be too much empty space.

TravisFromOR do be careful not to give the wrong card to the wrong person.

I know a psychiatrist who has:

Dr X
Lover of fine wines and exotic women, international man of mystery and importer of erotic art.

on his “fun” business cards…
Yep, that went wrong pretty quickly and pretty much exactly how you’d think.

You’re a bit out of touch with how the job market works these days. While I’ve been given them, I don’t think I’ve ever given out a business card describing my job at any of my old desk jobs/day jobs. I’m not in business development, so the people I was interacting with as a representative of my employer were already clients, already knew our office phone number, and had no problem remembering who I was and why they needed to contact me (I was working on their project). I can’t go to a networking event without handing my personal business cards out like candy, however, because these are not people I’m meeting in the context of already being in business with them. I need to be memorable outside of that context. And no one wants to carry around a letter-sized resume at a bar, and you can, and should, be ready to market yourself anywhere. You can stick business cards in your wallet. Are you going to carry resumes with you to the grocery store?

I would suggest doing more than just your name and contact info, however. I get as many biz cards as I give at events, and I very often need something to jog my memory of which guy this one was. Just your name might not do it. Your name and something related to what we were talking about (and you should be able to easily talk about what you do, that’s your best self-marketing tool right there), will almost certainly make the connection for me.

That said, if you hand write it on the back (I like this idea), that gives you flexibility in describing what you do, depending on who it was you were talking to. Just don’t forget to do that part.

On the other hand: marketing and PR are different enough in tone that I would have no problems including both. (I describe my work in broad terms as “creative services” too, but I’m very clear that my experience is in marketing, and not so much PR. PR requires knowing a lot and having good contacts in the press media, for one.) For design… not sure exactly what kind of design work you’re aiming for, so you could go with graphic design, fashion design, or product design. Or perhaps just illustration.

Also, one of your prior jobs (facebook, blogs) falls under Social Media Marketing. Might not be necessary to include yet another job title on your card, but if you talk to someone about it, definitely write it on the back.

Another option is to do double-sided cards. My cards have one side promoting my marketing/design creative skills. The other side is for my creative performance skills. The two are distinct enough from each other that it would just be a pain in the ass to try to describe them as one category. This also gives me the advantage that even if I hand someone my card performer-side up, they also get the information that I do marketing stuff too – and who knows, maybe they’ll need that down the line.

(I don’t know if this needs to be said, but for safety reasons I wouldn’t put down any mailing address other than a PO box. My cards don’t have a mailing address at all – if someone needs to mail me something, then we’ve progressed past “networking” and into “working together,” so I’ll communicate my mailing address to them then.)

Maybe so, I haven’t looked for a job in about 15 years.

And while I’ve hired about 50 different professionals over that time, I’ve never hired anybody based upon a business card they gave me.