Your business card is an essential tool to help you build contacts. It should include a title that describes what you do, so that when the card is later fished out of a drawer it is clear what skills you bring to a potential client. Flexibility of job title description is not usually possible when you work for a large company with defined roles. If you freelance or are an entrepreneur, however, it's essential that you take the time to consider what phrase you will use to define yourself.
Write down a possible list of titles on a piece of paper. If you are an entrepreneur with a growing business, you may opt for one of such titles as Director, President or Owner. If you are a freelancer or looking for contractual employment, you may brainstorm such words as Consultant, Writer or Life Coach, depending on your profession.
Review the list and imagine what it would look like on a business card. Ask a friend to give you her first impression of the words on your list. For example, "Owner" may imply you are the ultimate authority for the company but does not necessarily say that you are responsible for its strategic direction. "President" may imply leadership but fail to give the impression you are the sole individual who can make decisions. Decide which of the words is the appropriate combination of skills you want to promote with your business card.
Modify your word choice by adding any essential special skills. For example, in place of "Writer," you may wish to write "Screenwriter," or "Ghostwriter." If your credentials are directly related to your entrepreneurial position, you may wish to include that as well. For example, the owner of a business consulting firm may have the title, "Certified Public Accountant and President," or "Director and Lawyer."
Print your final chosen title below your name on your business card. It should be slightly smaller than your name and possibly in a different font, depending on the card's design. Modify your title at a later date if you find it has not produced the business results you had hoped for.
Catherine Lovering has written about business, tax, careers and pets since 2006. Lovering holds a B.A. (political science), LL.B. (law) and LL.L. (civil law).