You’ve probably already heard it a million times before—networking is good for your career, yadda yadda. Yet sometimes, the importance of networking for recruiters and HR professionals doesn’t quite sink into our minds.
The truth is, networking is doubly important for us. Not only are we making connections to grow our careers, but we’re scouting potential employees everywhere we go. That means we need to do everything in our power to make our networking effective, starting with where and how we seek connections.
Some HR professionals network on social sites like LinkedIn—and that’s all they do. They live in a social media bubble that neglects great local candidates who are out doing things rather than stuck at home behind their screens.
You can maximize social media’s potential when you combine it with face-to-face networking. Connecting online is a great way to introduce yourself and invite someone to your next networking event. Or, connect on LinkedIn after an event to remind people that they met you and that you’re serious about your working relationship.
Here’s the downside: this strategy puts all the work on your shoulders. You’re the one who introduces yourself or sends a request. And while it’s good to pursue a candidate, every recruiter knows it can be perceived as too pushy.
According to our friends at Company Folders, business cards counteract this sentiment because they do two crucial things.
- They tell people who you are and what you do (read, they introduce you in a fun, creative way); and
- They give candidates a choice. You can give a candidate your business card, then back off so they can choose to follow up—without feeling like they’re being stalked.
The key is to design a business card that sends a powerful branded message and makes people want to reach out to you. You can do this with unusual materials: recycled paper says you’re eco-friendly, quilted leather says you’re prestigious, and plastic says you’ll spare no expense to make a connection. Other options include custom shaped die-cuts, textured imprint methods, or edible business cards!
There are thousands of designs to choose from, so you’re sure to find a combination that speaks to your personality and your audience. Enjoy the Infographic below.