Presenting Yourself

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Business Cards

Having business cards is part of being a professional. Always have them with you. Business cards are especially valuable when you are at networking events where it is impractical to carry resumes.


  • Contact information is the focus of the business card: name, email, phone number and LinkedIn address.
  • Your contact email should be professional and contain your name - your UMD email is a good example. Leave "book_worm033" and "MisterDunkalot" in the past.
  • List "University of Minnesota Duluth, Class of 2019" with the name of your degree.
  • You might also include a tagline explaining your professional interests, such as, "Aspiring Marketing Professional," "Interested Personnel Specialist," or "Graphic Designer" and/or list your major.


  • Business cards are generally exchanged at the beginning or the end of an initial meeting, for example, "It's been nice talking with you. Here is my card; let's stay in touch."
  • Make a point of studying any business card you are given, commenting on it and clarifying information before putting it away.
  • Be discriminating about how you use your business cards. Do not hand them out casually to everyone or leave them lying around.
  • Wait for the person with whom you are conversing to initiate the giving of his or her card. In some circles, it is frowned upon to ask superiors for their cards.
  • To protect your business cards, and keep them easily available, purchase a business card case.
  • Business card etiquette may be different in other countries. When traveling abroad, learn the customs of the country. Consider translating one side of your card into the language of the country you are visiting.


  • Use an easy-to-read font style no less than 8-point in size.
  • All information should be at least 1/8 of an inch from the edge of the card.
  • Consider your use of font style, color, layout, and design strategically.
  • You may use UMD's school colors but not the official school logo.
  • It is your choice how creative you decide to be. Nice design and typography will make a good impression.
  • No matter how spectacular your business card looks, the card is just your information. You still need to shine in person.

Phone Use Tips

  • Use a professional outgoing message.
  • Eliminate distractions and background noise when using your phone.
  • Have a fully charged battery and ample service before answering or making a professional call.
  • Speak slowly and clearly and spell your name when leaving a message.
  • Don't answer your phone while driving.
  • Don't answer a professional call when in a public place or while engaged in a social activity.
  • Don't walk around while talking on your phone.
  • Turn off your phone while waiting for an in-person interview. If you usually review your notes on your phone, use another method so you Don't appear to be checking messages.
  • Turn off your phone during an in-person interview, presentation or professional meeting.

Elevator Speech

An elevator speech is a brief introduction of you. It is usually 30 seconds to one minute, the time it takes for an elevator to go a few flights before the doors open and the person to whom you are speaking exits.

Include: Name, level in school, major, opportunities you seek, relevant experience, a highlight of your skills or strengths, and knowledge of the organization.

End with an engaging question based on your research and knowledge of the organization.

  • "Could you tell me more about the new product you are developing?"

  • "I saw information on your website about your financial management training program. It sounds interesting; could you tell me more about it?"


Hello, my name is Mary Smith, it's nice to meet you. I'm a junior at the University of Minnesota Duluth majoring in electrical engineering. I've taken courses in electrical circuits and digital system design and I am familiar with the MATLAB and SPICE programs. I am interested in an electrical engineering internship this coming summer. I know your company recently expanded their product line to include wireless communication devices and I researched this area extensively for one of my classes. Could you tell me more about the new product line?