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The digital age has had a serious effect on how people network with each other. With services like LinkedIn, you may think it’s no longer necessary to bring physical business cards and resumes with you to networking events; people can just find you online. However, contrary to popular belief, the business card remains a vital marketing tool for those looking for a job. We explain four reasons why you should carry business cards in your bag, purse, or wallet.

It’s Convenient, Inexpensive, and Portable

Business cards are a simple, low-cost way to make sure a potential employer has your information. You can’t always rely on professionals to have functioning electronic devices with them. As a backup plan, you can offer them your card to ensure they have your information. You can purchase dozens of quality business cards without spending a fortune, and these will certainly save you from any unexpected issues.

It Promotes Your Brand

Business cards are an extension of your work; they represent who you are through colors, graphics, and words. Thankfully, it’s never been easier to design a business card online. Many business card design services come with prepared templates or give users free rein so they can create their own. If you really want to stand out, choose something unique like metal business cards. Those you network with are more likely to pass along your information when it comes on a distinct business card.

You Create A Personal Connection

Out of all the reasons why you should carry business cards, this may be the most important. Nowadays, people are connecting through virtual means. Unfortunately, when you send an email or a text, the recipient can lose sight of it in their sea of messages. However, when you choose to hand out business cards, you’re giving tangible information to a potential employer in person. This interaction is much more memorable than a digital message; it’s a physical reminder for them to follow up with you when they get the chance.

You Look Prepared and Professional

It’s common for work to find its way into a conversation. Instead of nervously fumbling around for a pen and paper to write your contact information on, you can present your business card to people with ease. This act makes a great first impression, as employers want to see confidence and readiness. In fact, the employer will probably give you their business card in exchange for yours. This is sure to make your networking interactions more enjoyable and worthwhile.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.