Business Card Etiquette – 10 Things To Think About

Maja Sander

In today’s world, with such high competition in the labour market, it is important to network and let people know who you are. A great tool for that is business cards. To make great use of them, we have listed 10 tips on business card etiquette below to help you figure out the dos and don’ts:

  1. Keep them in a spot where you know where you have them so you don’t have to dig through your bag or look through all your pockets to find them.
  2. Give out your card in the direction so that the person receiving it does not have to turn it around to be able to read what it says.
  3. Don’t give them out like flyers. Just because you have given out many does not mean you have networked with all those people. Instead give them out with discretion to avoid sending out the message that these cards aren’t worth anything.
  4. Who would want to receive a crumpled and damaged card? Not me! So make sure to keep them in a case or a spot where they won’t get damaged or teared up.
  5. When you receive a card, try to make a comment about it, since this places value to the card. If nothing else make sure to at least take a look at it before you put it away to show respect.
  6. Never cross out information on your cards! Instead make sure to always keep them up to date when changing numbers, email or other information included on the card. It is better to spend on new cards rather than risk an unprofessional impression.
  7. Don’t write notes on cards you receive unless it’s relevant.
  8. Make sure to always bring your cards, you never know when you’ll end up needing to give one out.
  9. Don’t be too aggressive when asking for and giving out business cards. Make sure to first have a connection to the person you’d like to exchange cards with so it doesn’t appear like you just came up to them for the purpose of exchanging cards.
  10. For the same reason as number 9, wait until the end of the conversation to ask for a business card or to give yours out. This prevents you from giving out your card like a flyer and seeming too aggressive.

The etiquette surrounding business cards is not the only important part. If you are thinking about making your own, here are some things to consider:

Industry fit: Make sure it looks professional and that it fits the business you’re in. If you work in a creative role it might be suitable to have more creative look whilst you might want a simpler one if you work in a more classic role.

Design: Keep the design clean, easy to read and make sure to include white space to not make the card look cluttered and overwhelming.

Content: a good business card should always include:

  • Full name
  • Job title
  • Employer/name of business
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Logo
  • Website (if you have one)
  • Relevant social media profiles  

I hope these tips have been helpful – happy networking!

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