Friday, September 19, 2008

Father Knows Best
by Roscoe Chambers II

In this section, my father, Roscoe Chambers will impart his tips on job hunting and job keeping. As a more than 30-year veteran of the Human Resources industry, I imagine he has a lot to say!

Well. It’s about time. My name is Roscoe Chambers, the proud father of (you guessed it) Peppur Chambers. Our family has been in the Human Resources and owners of an Executive Search firm for several years. And because “FATHER KNOWS BEST” I’ve been asked to contribute to the award winning “Brown Betties Gazette”. I will attempt to provide pertinent information pertaining to employment search strategy for job seekers, various employment articles, and postings of open job opportunities nationwide. I found a great piece on networking by David B. Wright, Author, Get A Job! Your Guide to Making Successful Career Moves I hope you enjoy this segment and we look forward to hearing from you. CARPE DIEM!

TIP: Always Carry Business Cards
I’m often amazed by how frequently I meet people at networking events, trade shows, conventions, seminars, and so on that don’t have business cards with them - especially job seekers! I’m not necessarily suggesting that without a card, your true value to society is diminished. But if you’re looking for a job, and you don’t have a card with you, what happens when you meet someone who either has the perfect job opportunity for you (or knows someone who does)? You either scramble for a pen while mumbling some lame excuse about not having a card, or you lose the chance to reconnect with this person later. Either way, you miss out on the opportunity to look & act as the best professional for the job.

Nowhere is this more embarrassing than when you meet someone in sales or marketing that doesn’t have a card. The business card is a marketing document - and if you’re in sales or marketing, working or not, you come across as a pretty bad marketer if you don’t even have a simple business card.

Perhaps my view is slightly biased due to the years I spent working in Japan, where there’s a highly developed ritual around how business people exchange cards. Still, the habits I developed there with regards to making sure I always had business cards have served me well, both in the job search area and in various business deals.

So here’s what I do. I have a business card case that I nearly always carry. It’s a lightweight aluminum card case by Muji. I also keep a few extra cards in my wallet, just in case I run out. Additionally, I have business cards in my briefcase, laptop case, any notebooks I use regularly, any luggage I use regularly, and even in both the glove compartment and the ashtray of my car. Of course, if you’re a smoker, and use you ashtray for ashes, you’ll want to rethink that last one.
So, you may ask, what do you do if you are between jobs and your old business card info is no longer valid? Don’t just cross out the old info and write on the card - that’s just plain tacky.

Order some personal cards, for example from VistaPrint. Go ahead and spend the extra couple of bucks to get 2-sided cards, and include a few bullet points about your skills on the back - sort of a mini-resume. Their prices are cheap, quality is good, and they can usually get your cards to you in a matter of days.

What if you just ran out and have an important event tonight? Well, if you’d planned ahead, you would have a pack of pre-perforated heavy weight printable business cards like these Avery Business Cards . Then just open up your MS Word or other program, type up the relevant info, print them up, and you’re good to go.

If you hadn’t planned ahead, they’re also available at office supply stores, Wal-Mart, and even most pharmacies.

The moral of the story: the American Express card isn’t the card you should really never leave home without.

Roscoe Chambers II is the President of The Kennedy Group, LLC, an executive search firm that takes a broad approach in the staffing of various industries and disciplines covering levels from middle- to upper- management. Please contact him at

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