Contact Cards, Networking, & the Holidays

The Army Navy Game, alumni football games and the winter holidays are upon us. Many job seekers are traveling home to visit classmates, family, and friends over the next few months. If you are job hunting, these people are a source of referrals for job leads. You will want to have a contact card ready to share. This is not the time to write your information down on a scrap of paper or grocery receipt and hope the recipient saves it. Also, do you really want your information given to a hiring manager or your future employer on a grocery receipt?

A contact card is very similar to a business card. It demonstrates you display a high degree of professionalism and are serious about presenting yourself in a favorable manner. Listed below are the key elements you will want to be sure are on your card and some things to keep in mind when designing your contact card.

Key Elements of Your Contact Card

 Name – Use your full name to include your middle initial or the name you use on LinkedIn. Hiring managers will search online for you by name. Ensure you are consistent with how you use your name online and keep it professional. Research has shown when you use a middle initial you are seen in a more positive competent manner and ultimately receive a higher salary.

Degree(s) conferred – Right after your name list your degrees conferred, such as MD, JD, Ph.D., BS, AA etc. You only list the highest degree conferred. The exception to this rule is if the job you are seeking uses a lower level degree that is a different discipline than the higher degree. If you do not have your degree but have an anticipated graduation date – put Anticipated Graduation Date followed by month and year on the line beneath your name.

LinkedIn URL – This will let people know they can find out more about you and your skills online. Place your LinkedIn URL on the line below your name. LinkedIn is no longer an option. It is a key tool for job hunting. Make sure you have customized your LinkedIn URL.

Phone Number – Do not use a work phone number. You want your card to be relevant after you leave the military or your present place of employment. I recommend you use your cell phone and not a home phone number. Your cell phone is always with you. Do NOT forget to put your area code on your contact card.

Physical Address – Placing your physical address is optional. If you are willing to relocate I do not recommend using a physical address.

Email Address & Email Service Provider– You MUST have a professional email address. Do not use a work email or a school email. You want an address that you will have access to when you are no longer employed or attending college. Keep your email address sounding professional and don’t use addresses like “” or “  If you are a Veteran due not use your military occupational specialty in your address. Also, do not use the year you were born in your email address. You do not want to have someone discriminate against you based on what you did in the military or age. Use a grown-up email provider. Do not use Yahoo, Hotmail, or AOL. Upgrade your email to Gmail or use a personalized email that you can get when you purchase a domain name for a website or blog.

Things to Consider

Back of the Card – Leave the back of your contact card blank – Do not list your job title or your skills. You do not want to limit your marketability by having a limited list of skills or job titles. There is not room to list everything or every version of what you can do for an employer. Also, when you leave the back blank the recipient can use it to jot themselves a note or reminder about you.

Military Affiliation – Military affiliation is an optional item. I recommend having one card that shows you are a Veteran and another that does not. If you are networking with military-friendly companies, then you would use the card that shows your military affiliation. Do NOT put your rank on your business card. This can cause someone to stereotype or discriminate against you based on rank and not look at your current education or skill sets.

Card Stock – Ensure your contact card is made from a quality card stock. Do not attempt to print them off on your home computer. I always recommend upgrading to a premium card stock. It will be heavier weight than a budget card. Rounded corners will also make your card stand out.

Font – Use a font that is professional and large enough to be read. Now is not the time to be cute or overly creative. A contact card is not that big. When you proof your card online you may be able to read the font. But, when you get it in your hand you may not. As I have gotten older reading cards has gotten harder.

Color – I recommend a simple yet timeless, elegant and classy white card with black lettering. However, know your industry. If you choose to go with a colored card and colored font make sure it is readable. Again, I have cards on my desk where I cannot read the font due to the color.

Picture – I do not recommend putting a picture on your card. Again, you do not want to be discriminated against because you are not the ideal weight, or have a hair color, hair style, body art etc. that does not resonate with the hiring manager.

When you are attending alumni football homecomings, holiday parties, and work functions don’t force your card upon anyone. It is polite to ask for their card. Typically, when you ask if they have a card they will, in turn, ask for your card. Then when the person asks if you have a card, you will be ready. Also, when people ask what you are up to you can say you are job hunting and ask them to let anyone they know that may be hiring that you are looking. After you leave the event you can follow up with that person by sending a hand-written note and include one or two contact cards.

Holidays are a great time to send cards in the mail. Yes, people still enjoy receiving a card in the mail. You have Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years Day to name just a few of the observed holidays. Send quality holiday cards to your Aunts, Uncles, cousins, previous co-workers, and high school friends. If you belong to industry specific organizations and an alumni organization I recommend sending cards to those you know too. Don’t forget your mail carrier and other service providers you interact with on a daily or periodic basis. Include two contact cards in your holiday greeting card. One card for the recipient to keep and one for the recipient to share.

Your contact card is just one tool you should have in your job-hunting toolbox. It only takes a person a few seconds to see you and your contact card and form an opinion of you. Ensure your contact card represents you in a positive manner.

Q & A With Coach Jaynine

LinkedIn-Cover-ImageToday, Coach answers a question from LinkedIn


• Hi Jaynine, I was wondering if I would be able to get your feedback on something since I know you’re a business owner. My wife started an IT company and is currently in the process of getting certified as a Women-Owned Business. She said that she needs me to sign a “Statement of Non-Participation” in order to get her company approved as a women-owned business. My concern is whether signing such a statement would forfeit any marital rights that I have to the retirement benefits of her business? I will be retiring from the U.S Army in a few years in which 50% of my retirement would belong to her, which is great, but I just don’t want be put into a situation where retirement sharing is legally a one-way streak because I signed away my rights. We have a great marriage, going on 10 years now and she completely understands my concern about this paperwork, so it’s not a matter of whether I think she is trying to get over on me, but rather we just don’t know what it really means for a spouse to sign a statement of non-participation. We’re not familiar with what the spouse is giving-up by agreeing to such terms. If this is a loaded question that you wouldn’t feel comfortable answering without charging a fee, I will totally understand if you refrain from responding.

10:48 PM


On Jun 23, Jaynine Ray-Howard, USMC (Ret), PhD (ABD) said the following:
Good morning, Those are great questions and concerns. I am not a lawyer so please do not take what I am saying as legal advice. I do think a lawyer is the best person to get advice as I will explain below in more detail. Woman Owned – business must be 51% owned by a woman (your wife) Veteran Owned – business must be 51% owned by a Veteran (YOU) Disabled Veteran Owned Business – business must be owned 51% by Veteran who is service disabled MinorityOwned Business – depending on your state – just being a woman is considered a minority In North Carolina, I am a Woman Owned, Veteran Owned, Minority Owned, and Service Disabled Small Business – this puts be ahead of others if I want government contracts. Consider which is going to be more advantageous for your family business. It may be more advantageous to have you listed as primary. Many construction companies have the woman as head of the company because it is more advantageous for bidding on contracts. So think long term which is going to be best for the company. Another concern for many business owners is what happens in the case of a divorce. You need to have – in my opinion – a post nup – a legal document that states you get 50% of the business if you get divorced. You also need a legal document that states you get the business if she were to pass and vice versa. Typically when there are two business partners they each have insurance so that they can “buy out” the other half of the business in case of death so the deceased share doesn’t go to the “family”. I recommend keeping very accurate records on how much “family” money or your money from bonuses, inheritance etc. is put into the business. So if something were to happen again you have proof of what you contributed.

These are some links so you can do your own homework. I hope these help.

Semper Fi,
7:39 AM

Tips for Falling Back In Love With Your Business

customersLoveYouWe all hit that brick wall at times where we are no longer jumping out of bed each morning excited to start our day. When you find yourself lying in bed dreading to get up and start your day you know it is time to do some self-reflection and find out what is zapping your energy.

Retreat from Your Business and Self Reflect
1. Mission & Vision – are you still honoring your original mission and vision for your business? If not, why did you get led down a different path? Were you chasing money to pay the bills instead of following your heart? Make time to review your mission and vision statement and update as necessary.

2. Evaluate Your Circle of Influence – do you have a support system that truly cares about you and your business? Do you have people sabotaging your efforts or belittling your goals and dreams? Use the attachment to take the time to evaluate your circle of influence. Make necessary adjustments so you can thrive.

3. Work Less – I know this may sound impossible but a few years ago my Coach told me to stop working so many hours. Set office hours and honor them. Use my productivity tracker to see where your time goes and how much time is being spent on tasks. If you would be outraged that an employee took so long to complete a task then revamp that task. I recommend setting a timer or placing a time limit for tasks. You will find you get the work completed within the time frame or sooner. You will be focused.

4. Delegate – delegate any task that does not bring you JOY. Find a virtual assistant or outsource to FIVERR or Elance if you do not have employees. Many tasks can be done faster and better by someone else. You do not have to do everything. Remember, two heads are often better than one. I would personally be lost without my team to jump in and help when I am sick, helping a client in crisis, or just by doing the tasks I don’t like to do. Give up control and delegate so you can focus on revenue generating tasks.

5. Invest in Self Care – you need to be the top priority for your business. This includes your physical and mental well-being. If you are not physically and mentally in shape you will be no good to your business. This means you may need to adopt an exercise program. You are worth the 30 or 60 minutes a day needed to focus on your health. When you exercise your body will release endorphins and you will have mental clarity. Your mood will be elevated for hours afterward. This will cause you to be more creative and productive as well as just a more pleasant person to be around.

Are you ready to start jumping out of bed to get your day started? Implementing my five tips above will help you have a positive mindset and more energy. This will aid you in attracting abundance. The Laws of Attraction are always at work. Like attracts like – don’t attract negative. Adopt a positive mindset so that you attract positive things for you and your business.

Sending wishes for an abundant 2016!

Circle_of_Influence (2)

What is in your obituary?

Your biography, resume, and LinkedIn profile provide the content that your family members will use to write your obituary.

What will yours say? Will it be the short one that says your name, where you grew up, the name of your high school, and the names of the family members who preceded you in heaven and who you left behind?

BIO’s, Resumes, LinkedIn Profile and Obituaries – Mirror What You Have Done with Your Life

In the United States and around the globe people are living longer and working longer. The Huffington Post reported results from a survey showing that 22% of Americans would rather die than retire without enough money. The Veterans Administration 2015 Economic Opportunity Report states that 1 out 2 or 53% separating Post-9/11 Veterans will face a period of unemployment upon transition. The AARP reports that people ages 45-79 who experienced unemployment during the past five years are not currently working. People are living longer. My grandma passed away last year at the age of 101. If I live as long as she did I have another 50 years of living to enjoy. I want the next 50 years to fun and fruitful.

Don't Get Mad. Take action and turn your dreams into reality.
Don’t Get Mad.
Take action and turn your dreams into reality.


How many more years will you be working? Do you have enough money saved? Are your skills current and able to compete with people graduating college? As a coach one of the first assignments I give my clients is to work on their life mission statement. One of the questions on this assignment asks the person to write their obituary. The intent of the assignment is to get the person thinking about what they have accomplished and what untapped dreams they have left unfulfilled. It helps the person self reflect and see they still have time to turn their dreams into reality.

When I am writing a biography, resume, or LinkedIn profile for a client I gather the facts and it often takes several sessions to get the person to provide me the WOW of what they have done. Sometimes sadly there is no WOW. The person has done nothing out of the ordinary. They eat, breathe, and go to work to perform a task. This is the client that typically becomes rude, demeaning, and overly demanding after receiving a draft document. I have learned to understand that when a client becomes abusive they are operating from a place of fear and embarrassment. The client is embarrassed because the document or resume is a reflection of who/where they are now. It is an eye opener for the person and he or she doesn’t like what he or she is seeing. The client is operating from a place of fear because he is afraid he will not fulfill his dreams. He won’t get that dream job, officer program, or whatever it is that I am writing a resume or document.

Updating your bio, resume, and LinkedIn profile provides you the opportunity to see where you are on completing your goals. These documents also provide you the opportunity to see what you are doing that is above and beyond the ordinary. You will see the value you are providing your employer or clients. Your peers and future employer will see the value you provide.

Honestly assessing yourself and your accomplishments or lack of accomplishments is a step toward self actualization. It is the first step toward self improvement. We should never stop striving to improve the value we provide others. This may be through volunteer work in the community, improving systems and processes in the workplace or paying to attend career enhancing classes.

In the Marine Corps we used a term “ROAD” when talking about someone who did nothing but drink coffee, breathe and chew the fat all day. “ROAD” means retired on active duty. Don’t be a “ROAD” in your workplace and life. Take the steps necessary to LIVE! If you are a “ROAD” don’t be mad when you transition from the military and can’t get a job or jump-start a new career. If you are a civilian don’t be mad when you are the first person let go during lean times.

If you had to write your obituary right now what would it say? Would you be left staring at a blank sheet of paper? Don’t leave your family members the difficult task of writing your obituary. Make the task easy by doing something with your life. Take control of your life. If you don’t know how to stand out from the pack and shine then seek out a coach. A coach will help you design a strategy and also recognize that you probably have done something WOW you just are dismissing it as nothing. As a coach I am often called upon to help a client design a career track within his current company. The first step is preparing the resume so when it is time for the conversation with the boss or owner of the company he can show what he has accomplished and how it has benefited the company. We then outline what he would like to do for the company and a timeline for completing the transition for starting a new department or division within the company that he will lead. Depending upon how the conversation goes my client knows whether he will stay with the company or seek employment elsewhere.

Your LinkedIn profile should also be selling you and not read as an obituary. When you have a great LinkedIn profile you will be contacted routinely by hiring managers and asked if you would like to leave your current position. If you are not getting these phone calls or emails you need or want to take time to self reflect on your key accomplishments and rewrite your profile or contact me.

Your biography, resume, and LinkedIn profile should sell you. They sell the value you provide to the employer or your customers and clients. If you don’t like what you are reading get mad and take action to change things. Your obituary does not have to boring and bland. Get out and enjoy life while providing value to your employer, customers, clients, and community so you have a bio, resume, LinkedIn profile and obituary that will make others say “WOW”.

Choose to be somebody!

     Choose to live!

           Choose to provide value to others.


Coach Jaynine is the owner of Dream Catcher Business & Career Coaching. Coach Jaynine hears what you are not saying. When you work with Coach Jaynine, you are guaranteed to have her undivided attention. Hiring Coach Jaynine as your coach is guaranteed to change your life. “Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” ~ George Sheehan. With Coach Jaynine, you will learn to believe in you. You will regain your hope, your perseverance, and have the wisdom to turn your dreams into reality! Sign up for her free ebook My 5 Secrets to Networking Detox at