Should an unemployed journalist have a business card?


I am looking for a job.

When I mentioned that yesterday to a neighbor, he asked for one of my business cards to pass off to a friend.

I don’t have one. I didn’t want to spend the money. I never knew what to write on one. Being young and transient, I feel like my information and location would change to quickly. …I think I’d feel uncomfortable slipping one to someone.

A good friend Neal Santos, a talented new media journalist and celebrated young photographer, keeps cards around and I’ve seen him divvy them up. What’s more, he has gotten calls from people to whom he’s given a card.

Still, every time I have gotten close to making the purchase, I’ve felt I might get a job that would it silly to do so. Even now that I am in a serious hunt for a job in Philadelphia, I’m hesitant. I envision business cards as a top down process. Someone with more power gives one to someone with less power – or in a situation of real collaboration. I have no power and, really, no means of collaborating.

Won’t my card just become the trash of a potential employer or wallet-clutter for friends?

I suppose I could print some with little more than my name, “journalist” title and address to this site. But, really?

Who has them? Who doesn’t? Does anyone have any advice or thoughts for young professionals of any flavor?

Image from Business Card CD – my editing.

7 thoughts on “Should an unemployed journalist have a business card?”

  1. Tiff Zeno has business cards that she handed out to the class before leaving for NYC — generic cards with her title (freelance producer, professor, media consultant). You can get them free online…why not?

  2. Business cards can be a good draw from personal introduction to an actual visit of your site. A way for that person to remember you, if only be accident or nuisance. And Stover. Who doesn’t provide a link to said “free” business cards?

  3. Hi.

    I’m a student (only 17 years old) and am currently running my own music journalism blog to help set up a steady career in the future, with examples already at the plenty for when I leave college (Or University if I continue)

    I just saw this and thought that I would contribute.

    I am unemployed (obviously) but I attend a lot of music gigs and concerts and for this reasons, I have gotten business cards. I find them very helpful and always good to carry around with me.

    You don’t necessarily have to pay excessive amounts either, you can download certain software that lets you make them yourself for free.

    I think you should go for it, it doesn’t do anybody any harm. Besides, it’s worth a short, right?


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