Saturday 13 June 2015

Blog Every Day in June Day 13: Introduce yourself well and build your PLN with personal cards

Do you have a business card?

They are so handy for when you want to give you contact details to someone, and an invitation to keep in (professional) contact. But how do you differentiate the business contact from the personal contact? And what about when you are hunting for a new position. Would it be a bit off to attach your work business card to your job application? Take a look at this short video on business card etiquette so you'll know what to say and do when you give or receive a card.

Enter the personal card. A work of personal branding, a personal card is a tiny advertisement for you.

I received a set of personal cards as a graduation gift, and if you are looking for a gift for a new graduate I highly recommend this. They have been so much more useful than I thought, and I ran out of the fifty I received and had to order more. I designed mine at but there are plenty of other places to choose from, another well known site is Vista Print.

I've attached them to job applications, used them at conferences or networking social occasions, and I've been delighted to receive others in return.  They are always a great conversation starter.  Whenever someone wants to email me something, I can just nonchalantly whip one out and it's all so easy, an elegant step up from writing details down on a scrap of paper. I've used them frequently when my children go over to a friend's house so the other family could contact me if needed, and had a set printed for netball with a photo of me in my netball uniform one time when they had a two for one discount deal.

Mine are brightly coloured and have rounded corners, a set of six abstract designs from the design gallery at the card supplier. At first I had a QR code on my card that linked to an page but then I decided it was daggy and dropped it. Next time I think I'll include it again as it looked better for the design of the card, and I'm building up a proper e portfolio which I'd like to highlight. The range of shapes and styles, papers, colours, and typefaces is mind boggling, and making design choices can take a lot of time. You can even have every card with a different image at no extra charge, if you have time to set them up. There are plenty of other choices such as mini cards, and stickers.

So, you can design your own card, choose the shape, colour, finish, typeface, size, images, but what's next? I'm waiting for NFC Business Cards, using RFID technology. A tap on your NFC enabled smart phone and the user will be directed to your website, load up an app, show a map, or play some music. They are pretty expensive right now, but I just love the novelty of them. Or maybe a card with an inbuilt USB? Take a look at the swivelCard. Part of the card is able to be folded out and used as a USB.  Not sure if this will take off, but again, I love the innovative design thinking.

So, consider a personal card as a stylish way of presenting yourself to the world.

-Lauren Castan

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