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Self-marketing in a recovering job market

A survey released Thursday by Capital One Small Business Banking founds that more than thirty percent of U.S. small businesses plan on hiring new employees within the next six months – a figure that is up three points from last quarter.

Although the economy has not fully recovered, many expect conditions to improve in 2011. When it does, employers can expect wide-scale employee departures from workers seeking better opportunities in a better job market.

With such prospects, business-to-business and human resource marketing will become the primary means by which individuals promote their own skills and services. Prospective employees should prepare for the economic recovery by investing in a new and improved business card.

But don't buy just any old card. Cheap design and shoddy print stock will come across as unprofessional, especially as financial conditions improve.

"If the card feels flimsy or looks like you printed it yourself on a cheap printer, it will leave people with impression that they are dealing with a small company that will disappear as soon as the owner finds a real job," writes Janet Attard for Business Know-How. "Have your business card professionally printed on good heavyweight business card stock."

Even if you already own the perfect business card, consider alternative methods of promoting yourself. Perhaps it's time to beef up that resume or portfolio. Just because the job market is expected to improve does not mean competition will slide.

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