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The etiquette of business cards

The popularity of business cards continues to thrive despite the growing ubiquity of digital technologies. They retain a degree of "realness" and a sense of confirmation that is not as apparent with information that can be scanned onto your phone or lost in a sea of electronic messaging systems.

"You are branding yourself (with a business card)," Peter Corbett, CEO of marketing firm iStrategyLabs, told the Washington Post. "And I think a lot of people today are also really visual. I might not remember a person's name right away, but I'll remember, oh . . . their card had a green tree and a blue background."

But just because business cards are still popular doesn’t mean you should throw them around at every professional you meet. There is etiquette involved. For example, a starry-eyed entrepreneur would do himself a disservice by thrusting a business card in along with a handshake. Professionals should greet and have a conversation before launching into the idea of doing business together.

Likewise, store the cards you accumulate in an efficient manner. Perhaps invest in a card holder. Organize them by brand or industry or maybe just filter down to the ones that make an impression.

Most importantly, remember yourself. For young professionals, remember you are one fish in a giant pond. Be polite and respect elders. And for older professionals, remember how you were once young and ambitious. Respect your younger self.

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