Side step a business card faux pas

By Jash Shah 

Business Technology Analyst | Consulting

As a new hire at Deloitte, you will be given a “New Hire Checklist.” It’s basically a list of approximately 40 things you need to complete during your first few weeks at Deloitte. Out of that list of 40, one of the most discussed and sometimes overlooked tasks is the option to order Deloitte business cards. You may ask yourself “will I even need them?” Or even “how many should I order?” One student told me that the only person he ever gave his business card to was his mother! On the other hand, some students hand them out at any given opportunity.

While there are no hard, fast rules when it comes to handing out your business cards, here are three quick tips to help you use your business card more effectively during your time here at Deloitte.

1. Keep a good number of them with you at all times

This goes without saying, but it cannot be stressed enough. You truly never know when you will meet somebody with whom you want to share your business card. I recommend buying a business card holder (you can get a good one for under $15), but keeping them in your wallet or in your jacket pocket is fine, as long as they don’t bend out of shape. Under no circumstance should you hand out a card that is not in pristine shape. Your cards are a reflection of you; if you hand out anything other than a polished business card, you are sending a negative message about yourself.

2. Handwrite a personal message on the back of each card

Writing something on the back of a business card shows that you value the person you have made a connection with. For example, you can write an alternate email address or phone number that you can be reached at outside of work hours. If you were discussing something specific, write something like “Feel free to call me about _____.” This will serve as a reminder of who you are. Perhaps you both share a hardcore passion for the same hobby, music, sports team, etc. Feel free to write a comment about that on the back of your card as well (i.e. Go leafs!) so that you are more easily remembered.

3. Be selective

With the sheer number of business cards you will have, it is tempting to hand out your business card to everybody. While a co-op at Deloitte provides you with great opportunities to network and meet like-minded people, it is recommended that you hand out your business card to people who you have actually made a connection with – people you had a good conversation with, went to grab a coffee with, worked with on a project, etc. These are all the types of people you should hand a business card to.  As the old saying goes, quality over quantity. It is better to have handed out 10 business cards at a networking event with people you made strong connections with, rather than 50 you did not make strong connections with.


Jash is a fourth year student at the University of Waterloo majoring in Economics and Finance.

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