Yesterday, as part of this 10-part preparation series for the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Boston, I wrote about being present online. Having a multitude of resumes and business cards goes hand-in-hand. Of course, it’s easy for someone to look you up online, but having something tangible makes you more memorable and easier for others to track back to you.
But, before you get your stacks up, you have to make sure your stacks are right.
For business cards:
- Full name and title (multimedia reporter, photojournalist, etc. Don’t put aspiring. If you do work like a journalist, you are a journalist.)
- Website. Preferably one that has your name in it and has a .com at the end. (If you have multiple, include one that links to all the others. You don’t want to clutter the card.)
- Social Media handles. I’d recommend Twitter at the least. If you’re a photographer or visual journalist, you may want to include your Instagram. (Staying consistent with a username across social media also prevents cluttering the card).
- Don’t get so wrapped up in the design. Remember, less is often more. Leave space on the back; it’s the coolest thing I ever did (see photo below). I wrote a simple: “Hi, I’m Vonecia. You met me at:” in small words across the top and left tons of space where people I meet can write some notes to help them remember me. I also added a QR code, but I honestly don’t think many people utilized it. It did help me stand out though and showed my interest in digital media. On the other hand, you should try to write on the back of every business card you receive. Include where you met them, the conversation you had, or anything that’ll simply help you remember them.
- ORDER NOW if you haven’t already. It can probably take up to seven business days or more for them to come, or you’ll have to pay more. I usually order mine from VistaPrint. Moo is also a popular spot. Or, you can always be crafty and design and print them yourselves.
We all want our résumés to stand out, but remember, that content is still King.
- Make sure your full name and contact info is big and noticeable at the top. This could mean bolding it or adding some color to it. You may also include your title.
- Experience is often most important than your education, so have your latest experiences at the top. Make sure you describe the places where you worked. For example, on my résumé, I included that I interned at HOME Magazine in Gainesville. No one probably knows what that is unless they’re from Gainesville or Florida, so I included “a bimonthly lifestyle magazine serving North Central Florida.”
- Be consistent with fonts, bolding and how you list things. This article on Understanding Typographic Hierarchy explains this well.
- Be real about your skills. If you’re an expert in something, say that. If you sorta know something, let that be known.
How many should you bring?
UPDATE: Bob Butler, president of NABJ, wrote to me in the comments that paper résumés are almost unnecessary. He said he emails his résumé to himself in the morning and periodically re-sends it to himself. Therefore, it’ll be ready-to-go if he encounters a hiring manager who prefers an electronic copy. To go along with that, I’d suggest keeping a copy uploaded in your Google Drive or Drop Box.
I remember the first year, I printed out about 100 résumés. It was waaay too many lol, and it was a waste of paper. You definitely want to have a few physical copies available– there may be people walking around randomly asking for it– but, I’d say definitely have more business cards on hand. The convention isn’t all about finding a job. It’s simply about making connections (which I’ll talk about in a later post).
And don’t wait until the last minute to print whatever you need to print. If you avoid rushing, you’ll avoid mistakes. Have a person or two proofread it. You may email me at vlcarswell [at] gmail [dot] com, and I’ll be happy to!
So, are you excited for NABJ yet? If you are, tweet this. And by the way, I’ll be using the hashtag #NABJcountdown on my social media accounts along with the official #NABJ14 one.
Check back to pensandpumps.com for tomorrow’s tip on dressing to impress!