As you begin networking and building your professional connections, a business card becomes an important addition to your professional attire. Your business card often makes that first professional impression. Scribbling your email on the cocktail napkin just does not have the same effect!
At the Career Development Office we have a template of an MU-inspired business card. Students are welcome to utilize our computer to create a business card from the template and save it on their personal thumb drive. The design is in gold and black and very professional looking. Once you have created your business card you can choose to have it printed through an on-line company or locally in town.
The exchange of business cards with attorneys and professionals you meet at social events is the most painless method of breaking the ice. It is a small act of self-promotion that has no strings or obligations attached. Generally, people on the receiving end of business cards readily accept them.
Make sure your business card has complete and accurate information. Multiple ways to contact you are important including phone number, email, physical address and LinkedIn URL. Having your LinkedIn address included gives the recipient an easy way to stay connected. Since you do not know the person’s preference for correspondence, providing multiple options is the best idea. Here are a few other tips to keep in mind:
1) Never leave your home without them - Make sure your business cards are handy, so you can introduce yourself to new people. You never know when you might need one, so keeping cards in your pocket, purse, briefcase, wallet, and car will assist you in being prepared!
2) Packaging counts – Pulling out a bent card from your pocket won’t necessarily give the professional edge you are hoping to present. Keeping your cards in a stylish business card case creates a better impression and shows that you take yourself seriously.
3) Treat other’s cards with respect - When you accept a business card from a new contact, spend a few moments reading the card before you put it away. Show you appreciate the gesture and are happy to make the connection.
4) Choose the time – Waiting for the appropriate time to offer your business card is important. Introduce yourself first, build rapport, and at a convenient time offer your business card. Usually the other person will reciprocate.