SECTION J: Networking tool: mini-résumé

Remember the portion of the class that said networking snags 75% of all jobs?

A "mini-résumé" card provides a summary of the high points of your résumé in a condensed, clean, easily transmittable format. It is a cross between a networking business card and a résumé that gives the basic information about your qualifications. A mini-résumé card can be close to a standard business card size (sometimes folded to give you more room) or on a three by five card, using the same information on the front as a business card (name, "kicker," personal address, city, state, zip, and phone number).

You will need to bend the format lines to shape your needs, filling traditional “business card” spaces with your vital résumé information. For example, directly underneath your name, you can list your strongest skills separated by a diagonal slash for clarity.  Editing / Research / Lecturing. Carefully condense and choose parts of your Qualifications Summary. Don't feel you have to be comprehensive--this is just a "hook" to get a potential employer interested enough to call you. If a degree(s) or certification(s) are crucial to your work include those on either the front or the back!

In addition to being an outstanding technique that will get you noticed, Networking Business Cards/ JIST Cards have the advantage of being filed differently from other job- search materials. Mini-résumé business cards are often placed in Rolodexes or business card folders, or are even entered into contact databases. Their uniqueness is part of their appeal. Once you have them, you will wonder how you ever marketed yourself without them!

Hand them out generously at job fairs, (even if the fair is mobbed, drop a few at each table!).  Give them to work colleagues (or former colleagues), friends and relatives.  Your cards are easily passed on and remind people of your strengths and what you’re seeking. You can order 1,000 for less than $35 through Vista. 

As always, YOU choose what best represents you, conservative to kooky, it’s your choice! At, you have 1,200 designs to choose from. Kinko’s, Staples and other printing stores can more precisely tailor cards for you but are more expensive.  If you can pretzel your information in, use a Vista-like service and save money! It can be done with one-sided cards or for a few dollars more, done very well with a double-sided card. The impact of two-sides coupled with the advantage of more space for you to add information is s worth the minimal extra cost.