You have successfully defined yourself with a killer branding scheme for your personal marketing pieces, and have even created a business card to complete the package. With the right situation and a little know-how, your card has the potential to be the ultimate networking tool.
Business cards can be used in almost any situation, and convey an air of professionalism. Turn that ‘air’ into a lasting impression with these helpful hints because, who knows, you may have just handed your card to your next employer or future client!
1. Choose Your Timing
Don’t offer it out too early or as an afterthought. Establish a rapport with the recipient and treat the exchange with respect.
2. Make an Impact
Make eye contact when giving the card. Pass the card with the type facing the other person so they can read your information promptly.
3. Show Interest
Receive the card with both hands. Take a moment to look down and read it. It makes a powerful (although subconscious) statement. Thank the ‘giver’ for sharing it with you.
4. Stay Organized
Have a predetermined spot to keep the cards that you receive, instead of shoving them into your pockets. If you’re at a table, organize the cards to match the hierarchy and/or the placement of people around the table. It will help you remember who’s who.
The when, where and especially how to use your business cards can be tricky. Now that you have the tools, working the room at your next networking event, sealing the deal at your next interview or making a lasting impression on a chance encounter with great contact will be a cinch!
A Tip for Getting Started
With their department’s permission, students in all programs at SFU can order student business cards through the on-campus print shop. “Both undergraduate and graduate students can order [SFU branded] business cards,” says the Director of the Design Group at SFU, Carol Knight.
Although she has final say beyond the standard content before it gets printed, “students can add their concentration after their title (e.g. BBA Candidate, Marketing and Finance Concentration) … if they like,” even though it’s not included on the standard online template.
Students can visit their home department’s main office for more information. The cost is $27.50 for 100 cards and is payable by the individual student, not the program.
One Cautionary Bit of Advice:
While students are extended the option of having official SFU business cards printed, in no way are students permitted to use the SFU logo on a card of their own design, nor should their creations mimic the university's business card design.
For their contributions to this article, a special thanks to:
Carol Knight, Director
The Design Group – University Relations
Simon Fraser University
VP Qualitative and Online Communities
Angus Reid Strategies