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JIST Cards: Business Cards, or Mini Resume?

Ms. Inglish is a successful employment & training pro, setting Midwest regional records with tens of thousands placed in gainful employment.

A mini resume will include all of the most important facts about you as a potential outstanding future employee for  HR representatives and business owners.

A mini resume will include all of the most important facts about you as a potential outstanding future employee for HR representatives and business owners.

The JIST Card: A Mini Resume

Make your business card work harder! A JIST Card is a combination of a resume and a business card that fits onto a 3" by 5" card. Although the JIST Card is just 3" x 5" in size, it contains enough information to interest prospective employers. Before you know it, employers will be contacting you to set up an interview!

The term JIST comes from an Indiana-based company known as JIST Publishing, Inc., the company that first invented the use of these mini-resume cards. JIST means Job Information and Seeking Training. One of their authors, Michael Farr, has written extensively on the topic of job searching (including JIST Cards).

How could you turn this full resume into a business card?

How could you turn this full resume into a business card?

The most important information about your work belongs on your mini resume or JIST job-search card.

What Should I Put on My JIST Card?

Important information that you should include on your mini resume or JIST job-search card:

1. Contact Information

  • Full name (refrain from using nicknames, please)
  • Area code and telephone number (If you live in a large city like mine, you have to dial the area code even for a local call!)
  • Cell phone number (include the area code)
  • Fax number, if you have one
  • Email address (use a professional-sounding name)
  • Web page URL, if you have one and it is a professional-looking page.
  • Indicate the best way to reach you FAST! Place the best phone number or your Email address in bold print.

2. Job Objective

State exactly what kind of job or internship you want, as specifically as possible.

You cannot squeeze everything you know how to do onto a small card. Be specific and selective.

3. Specific Skills

You cannot squeeze everything about yourself onto a small card.

List any of your skills and talents that most specifically show you are qualified for your stated job objective. Use numbers to prove this information, such as the number of sales awards you have won, percentages of increase in sales you achieved for a company, dollar amounts you saved your company in costs, number of new clients you brought on board, etc. Numbers and percentages are important from the bottom to the top of the world of business and employment.

4. Accomplishments

List special awards and outstanding achievements you have made on the job under this heading.

These are personal qualities and specific traits that lead you to success above the achievements of other workers in your field. These assets should be about your job and volunteer work—It is all about how you do a better-than-average job in a big world.

Sample JIST card

Sample JIST card

Carry JIST Cards With You

  • Take them to all of your interviews and staple one to your full-sized resume.
  • Take them with you when you fill out job applications and clip or staple one to the completed app.
  • Take them to job fairs and hand them out.
  • Use one as a reference note card during interviews.
  • Give them to your relatives to pass on to potential employers.
  • Give some to friends to pass around for you.
  • Attach them to your resume and any applications you distribute or fill out in order to catch the interviewer's eye with a quick summary. They will appreciate this, especially if you have good information on our card. It will give you an advantage over applicants that don't know about JIST cards!
  • Enclose them in thank you notes you send to interviewers and employers after your interviews to remind them how valuable an employee you will be to them.
  • Send your JIST Card as a digital photo or in the body of emails you send and ask others to send it on to anyone they know that could help you in your job search.
  • Display it at home and in your car as an affirmation of your good character and skills, and memorize it fully so that the words will come out immediately. You could even frame it and place it on the wall!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 28, 2011:

Kiela - At office supply stores, you can purchase 8 x 11 card stock that is perforated into the card-size sections. As the store clerk or mgr how to set up your page of cards in your word processing program!

Best of success to you!

Kiela Starcatcher from Chicago, IL on December 28, 2011:


Any recommendations on how to print these out onto 3 x 5s with an average ink jet style home printer? I love the idea, but couldn't think of a way to pull it off except to print multiples on card stock and cut them out...

Thanks for the wonderful idea!!

Rated up/useful

Cyclewala Ghulam Abbas on October 09, 2011:

Excellent concept provided to readers, this can help procure job faster and saves a lot of time of an employer ,besides the H R Managers work is simplified.

I am a career Guidance Trainer My self I found it very interesting to add to my lecture .

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 19, 2010:

Just follow the pattern shown above in the sample, on a 3" by 5" plain white card.

brendaspage on August 18, 2010:


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 15, 2008:

Hi Dorothea, Thanks for visiting. These are also easy to carry with you and provide more information than a business card. Carrying them means that one is always ready for the opportunity in the path.

Best regards!

Dorothea Stuart on February 15, 2008:

Hi Patty

I like the idea of the JIST card. Can see how they could be useful at all sorts of networking events. Plus if you are looking for a job or trying to change careers they would be a handy reminder for your friends and family of what you would like them to tell their contacts about you.