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Business Etiquette: How to handle a business card correctly

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Do you even have a business card?

If you don't have a business card with you, you don't make a good impression from the start. Without a business card, you will hardly be remembered.

Show respect

When you are handed a business card, show your business partner some respect. The card owner holds the card in the upper corner in such a way that the other person can read what is written on it. When you receive a business card, you should look at the card for a moment and memorize the name, company name and position.

Handing over your business card

If you want to hand your business card to your business partner or discussion partner, do so at the beginning of the conversation or meeting. Store your business cards in your own case so that they are well protected. Avoid creases and dirt on your business cards - that’s unprofessional. If you are attending a networking meeting, do not hand over your business card until the end of the conversation if you want to stay in touch. Depending on the country, there are cultural differences as to when and how to hand over a business card. In China, for example, the handover is very important. Be sure to pay attention and inform yourself beforehand.

Don't just pocket business cards

It is considered rude to stick a business card into your case, your jacket or your trouser pocket without reading it. This shows clear disinterest to your counterpart. Treat a business card like a gift and spend a few seconds with it.

Don't take notes

Do not take notes on a person’s business card right in front of them. If you don't have a pad or notebook with you, and you have to use their business card for it, be sure to do so only after you have said goodbye to your discussion partner.

Appearance of the business card

For business cards, you should pay attention to high quality. Do not print the cards on your own with thin paper; have them printed professionally. In addition, your business cards should be free of errors and up-to-date. There is nothing more embarrassing than handwritten changes on the card due to contact details that are out of date.

Electronic business cards

In the digital age, business cards are increasingly being sent digitally. These cards are sent by email (automatically). The information on it is exactly the same as on the printed business card. The recipient can store your electronic business card directly in Outlook contacts and always has all your important contact details at hand. So make sure to have your business card available as a digital version.

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