Although more American job seekers are able to print business cards, resumes, and other promotional materials at home, experts advise contracting with a commercial printing company for custom printed items. Home digital printing equipment has evolved considerably in the past decade, but job seekers may find that professionally-printed stationery and business cards give them a winning edge.
Commercial printing companies are often able to handle requests from entrepreneurs and from smaller companies: professional digital printing may be preferable for companies that are looking to enter a new market or that are in the process of re-branding. Home printers may not be able to handle fine print, certain graphics, or raised lettering; experts report that over 27 million business cards are printed every day by commercial printing companies.
Printing companies often offer small businesses a range of options for advertising and marketing materials. Large format printing projects like banners and billboards are often available; some printing companies have branched out into vinyl car and building wraps, citing their effectiveness as a marketing strategy. Often, printing companies can consult with business owners about design and pricing for custom printed items.
What job seekers may not realize is that the average job posting receives over 120 applicants; finding ways to stand out from the crowd could increase the chances of getting an interview. Creative professionals may find that incorporating their design aesthetic into custom printed items — business cards, letterheads, and resumes — makes them more memorable to potential clients.
Hiring managers often report that they prefer candidates with initiative; custom printed business materials can convey a polished, professional message to recruiters who are looking for enthusiastic candidates. Experts report that less than 20% of applicants for any given position get invited to interview, and recommend bringing a pen, notebook, and a resume to any interview session.
After interviewing for a position, job seekers may want to write a thank-you note to the recruiter. Writing a brief note thanking the interviewer for their time and enclosing a business card can help candidates stand out; following up by phone three to five days after the interview is also encouraged. Managers on the verge of making a hiring decision may be swayed by a timely phone call or letter from a job seeker.
Designing the perfect business card may take some time, but small businesses should be prepared to re-think and update printed marketing materials as they go along. Leveraging custom printed items to attract new business and to expand brand awareness may be the most vital piece of any entrepreneur’s marketing strategy.