Do Business Cards Still Matter?

Do Business Cards Still Matter?
Jeremy Lim/ via Getty Images

Think about the last time you were at an event and collected a bunch of business cards. What did you do with them when you got home? Be honest.


My guess: Cards from people who you couldn’t remember ended up in the trash, and you kept a few from people you planned to contact … maybe the ones with a note or a star on the back as a reminder. 


In a networking setting, the business card is a means to an end – connection. Whether you have a paper or digital business card matters a lot less than ensuring you have one. Your card is both a practical tool and a personal-professional branding medium.


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Building a Better Card

Do not overthink your business card. Make it as user-friendly as possible. If you’ve decided to go the traditional, printed route, consider the following:

  • Keep it simple. Your name, email, and phone number will suffice. Feel free to add your LinkedIn QR code or link, but avoid too much clutter.
  • Finish strong. Use a matte finish, not a shiny gloss, so either you or your contact can make a note on the card without a smudge or an ink-stained finger.
  • Stock options. Use a white or light-colored stock card – notes made by a blue or black pen should be easily readable.
  • Include a rank? That’s up to you. If you are targeting the defense sector, your rank can show you have experience in the industry. If you are not targeting that space, consider leaving it off. Still not sure? Consider making two sets – it won’t break the bank!


Want to learn more tips and best practices for transition, or find upcoming opportunities to get your card (and yourself) into circulation? Check out MOAA’s events page for upcoming seminars, webinars, career fairs, and much more!


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About the Author

Cmdr. Erin Cardinal, USN (Ret), ACC, CPC
Cmdr. Erin Cardinal, USN (Ret), ACC, CPC

Cardinal is MOAA's Program Director, Transition Services & Family Programs. She is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and has extensive experience in coaching servicemembers through their transition from active duty to the civilian sector.