Should you have a photo of yourself?
Unless you’re selling real estate, a photo on the card is a definite no-no according to Keith, especially for professional services.
Job hunting? Here are some tips:
Sean Walters, the co-founder of alterative recruitment firm virtualRPO, says offering and rejecting people for hundreds of roles over the years means he’s seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to business cards.
“In an industry known for networking, collecting business cards has become something of a hobby so I’ve seen all sorts,” he says.
“The biggest fails I’ve seen would be cheap, badly made cards – particularly for businesses in their launch phase when their trying to keep costs low – and an increasing trend of people having social media icons on their card, without any other details. Yes, it’s saying you use Twitter and LinkedIn but the icons aren’t much good unless I can click on them.”
Build your personal brand within your organisation
Walters says that at the better end of the card scale, striking the right balance between the business brand and your personal brand can work really effectively.
He says he recently received a card with the business owner’s morning drink order (long black) and their evening tipple (Sauvignon Blanc) on the back of it.
“It’s a nice, personal touch and it extends an opportunity to the person who’s been given the card to make the next move - professionally speaking, of course.”
Another way to link personal and business, Walters says, is to connect what your organisation does with a personal note - for example your favourite product or how you use it.
“It says this is who I work for, but it’s also something I’m interested in myself and that leaves a positive impression, in my experience.”
The ritual of swapping cards - and the follow up
Walters says if you are job hunting, the ritual of exchanging cards is still important.
“Once you’ve exchanged cards with someone, it opens up the door to a coffee. It’s hard to say ‘no’ to meeting up with someone with whom you’ve already exchanged business cards.
“However, I would caution giving your current business card to a recruiter because if that’s the only way they can contact you, don’t be surprised if you get a call to your office or work mobile – so if you’re going to hand out your current card while you’re seeking a new role, make sure only you have access to your existing numbers and email.”