Sue's business cardTwice in the last two weeks, I ran into people I knew at a networking event. They were networking. Actively seeking work. Meeting new people.

Neither one had a business card.

Some people think that a printed business card is terribly old school. Yet it’s still the simplest way to give your contact information to someone you’ve just met.

What’s the alternative? Sure, people you meet might add your info by creating a new contact in their cellphones, but that takes time and effort. People might use pen and paper, if they happen to carry those tools; that also takes some fumbling around. You can ask to connect with them on LinkedIn later, but it’s still helpful for them to have something to remember you. A simple, economical paper card is still the way to go.

As I told my friends, don’t get hung up trying to decide how to categorize yourself (communications consultant? strategic communications advisor?). Simply put your name, telephone number and email address. You can always describe what you do or the job you’re looking for when handing the card over.

And don’t feel you have to paper a room with your card. Only give out those cards when you make a real connection with someone and have a reason to be in touch.

What do you think — is a paper business card still needed? If you don’t use one, what do you do?

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