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While the unemployment rate has improved significantly compared to what it was a few years ago, the number of people who are unemployed remains quite large. Unfortunately, you might be one of those very same people dealing with unemployment. If you've been out hunting for a job, you may have found it's much more difficult than one would normally anticipate. Why, though? The answer to that quandary is quite simple—with jobs being so scarce, everyone in the jobless category is out and about, hunting for any signs of a potential job opening. To an employer, the endless amount of job applicants may start blending together. Therefore, you have a new job now: you need to formulate a strategy to stand out. Moreover, anyone who has been in business for themselves knows just how important an effective marketing campaign is. This very same principle can apply to job hunting as well. Marketing for a job hunt is nowhere near as elaborate as an intricate promotional campaign implemented by a business. In fact, a simple business card goes a long way in personal branding. Think about it. Business cards are excellent personal branding tools when “accidentally” left behind after a job interview. Moreover, considering how companies such as Quality Logo Products allow customers to customize their own business card, an impressive image can easily be created through bright colors, clip art, and even a personal photo. Standing out certainly would not be an issue when the HR manager opens his/her wallet and sees a business card brandishing your face and contact information. Furthermore, business cards do not have to be casually left behind, unknown to the interviewer. No, no, in fact some employers may find that you have shown initiative if you directly approach them, open your wallet, and simply say, “Let me leave you with my card.” Not only would you have shown initiative, but you have also conveyed a sense of professionalism. That very same professionalism could be the factor that ultimately lands you the job. Should you choose to incorporate business cards in your job search efforts, just remember to include all the important information on how you can be reached in the event an employer wants to follow-up. While creating a custom, flashy card, complete with a personal picture, may be enticing, the aesthetics are not as important as the qualitative data that you include on it. Generally, the standard business card will obviously have a name, as well as any phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and website links that pertain to you personally. It would be great if the unemployment rate could be reduced to zero, but the foreseeable future does not appear to hold this as a possibility. Therefore, you need to avoid being a statistic. You want to appear as if you do not need the job so much as the job needs you. If you are able to see yourself as an asset, then chances are good that potential managers will view you the same way. It doesn’t hurt to carry a personal business card, though, if only to leave employers with a way to contact you.

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