5 Ways to Make Your Personal Business Card Stand Out

Your personal business card is your call to action. For those not familiar with the term, a call to action is an invitation for your reader to make an immediate response. In marketing, a call to action can be “call now” or “find out more” or “visit our store today.”

You can provoke that response from a hiring manager through a well-designed business card that encourages employers to call you, to check out your portfolio and to see how you conduct yourself professionally online.

Even the most qualified candidates get lost in the shuffle. Instead of falling through the cracks, you can easily create a personal business card that gets you noticed. Try these five tips so that yours stand out.

Make It Easy to Read

Can your business card be read from a distance or at a glance? If not, how likely will you be called for a business opportunity?

Your printer will have recommendations on what font sizes and colors to use on your personal business card. But before you go, it helps to know the basics:

  • Don’t choose a font that’s difficult to read. Good choices are serif fonts like Times New Roman, Palatino, Georgia, Courier, Bookman or Garamond because they are recognizable and easy to read.
  • Don’t choose a font color that blends in too well with the background color. Grey font on white cardstock is hard to read.
  • Don’t choose font colors that are difficult to read. Lime green or bright orange is a strain on the eyes.

Before handing out your personal business card, get some feedback. That way, you know your business card is being read as you intended.

Get Social

Think of your personal business card as an invitation to your brand. Your social media accounts are your platform where you can showcase your talents and tell your story. Hiring managers can see your professional behavior online as well as how often you speak up on conversations happening in your industry.

According to this survey, 52% of employers use social media to research job candidates. Shorten their search time by printing your social details. Even if there isn’t a job opportunity, printing your social media handles on your business cards is an opportunity to grow your online following.

Give It Some Room

Hiring managers like to take notes on personal business cards as reminders on why you stand out. But if you don’t leave that space, that hiring manager will likely forget your unique skills or the conversations you had.

Your personal business card stands out when you leave some breathing room. Make sure there is a decent amount of blank space either on the back or the front. Print your personal business cards without a gloss finish so that a pen or pencil can write on it.

Don’t Overload It

It’s tempting to print every way a hiring manager can reach out to you. Instead, be mindful on how an employer would like to contact you. Would they need your home address to set up an interview? Is a fax number really necessary?

Remember, blank space is your friend. A balance of print and space makes your personal business card easy to read and available for jotting down notes.

Your social media accounts are important, but be selective on the ones you list. Which channels best showcase your talents, brand and professionalism? On my personal business cards, I only showcase my Twitter and LinkedIn  profiles where I am actively engaged in industry conversation.

Use The Back

Many professionals forget that there are two sides to print on a business card. This becomes handy when you have a lot to say but not enough room to print it. Consider printing a QR code or the link to your portfolio, website or a video that highlights your talents.

It’s still important to leave extra space on the back for hiring manager notes, so use the backside of your business card wisely. The less text you print on the reverse side, the more it stands out.

What do you do to make your personal business card stand out? Share your secret in the comments section below.


Kaitlyn Wightman '09 Headshot
Kaitlyn Wightman, ’09

I didn’t know it at the time, but GVSU steered me in the right direction. Not only could I double major in creative writing and English literature, but GVSU also provided the opportunities for me to explore my career options at conferences and through workshops that refined my craft.

After working across the country, I’m now back in Michigan as the Content Marketing Manager at Nutshell in Ann Arbor and blogging at KLWightman.com  All I wanted was to write for a living, and because of GVSU, I can.





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