Everyone knows the importance of having business cards, but what about how you use them? Most people don’t realizing what an art form networking actually is! When do you choose to exchange cards? What do you say? How do I handle receiving business cards from others? Lucky for you, we have put together a guide of business card exchanging etiquette, so you can be prepared and ready to take on your next networking opportunity by storm!
Your business card should make it easy for those who give it to you put to use. It should be organized, sturdy, and informative. Here’s a few tips:
The whole point of sharing your business card with others is to make a good statement about yourself and the work you do. If you hand someone a mangled, wrinkled business card, you’re conveying your lack of preparation and making a poor statement. This is why it is important to keep your cards stowed away in a place that protects them from getting damaged. They should be easy to access, so you can pull out a pristine-looking cards at the drop of a hat!
For smaller meetings, simply handing your card out before discussions commence is the common practice. When you hand someone your card, make sure that it is face up, and facing the receiver, so that it is easy for them to read. Larger, more corporate meetings require everyone to be seated, before business cards are exchanged between everyone. If you cannot directly offer your card by hand to the individual, simply place the card in front of where they are seated. If you are at a one-on-one meeting or an interview, it is customary to begin by politely offering your card at the start of the conversation.
It is important that you take the correct measures when not only handing out your business cards, but also when you receive cards from others as well. People often put a lot of thought and preparation into their business cards and this is why they should be treated as a gift whenever they are handed to you. Be sure you take a moment to look at both the front and back of the card as soon as you receive it. A quick “thank you” after you are given a business card, always goes a long way too! If you are in a meeting, it is considered respectful to place the card or cards you received in front of you for the entirety of the meeting. Remember to take them with you after the meeting ends and keep them in a safe place for following up later.