What's missing from your business card?

Tips for supercharging your networking skills

Picture a business card in your mind and chances are you come up with:

Company logo

Name

Title

Work number

Cell number

Email

It's an ordinary, average card, which is why it's time to make yours extraordinary.

Although there's everyday technology that allows you to swap contact information electronically, career expert Hannah Morgan says it's still important to have physical business cards at the ready. And, she says, they need to offer more.

"It should include name, job title, phone number, email and the URL for your LinkedIn account," Morgan says. "You could take this a step further by adding key skills, industry expertise and maybe even an short pitch."

Morgan also advocates changing the signature on your personal e-mail account to include your phone number, desired occupation or skills sets, and links to your LinkedIn profile and other social networking accounts.

Other advice for improving your networking skills:

  • Turn the tables. When you're asked the age-old, "What do you do?", rethink how you answer. "The new secret formula is short and snappy and immediately turns your questioning over to the other person," she says. Morgan advises starting your answer with, "I help…." and ending with, "And what do you do?"

  • It's not about you. Recall people you've met and why they were memorable. "They probably put the focus of the exchange on you," she notes. "The best way to make someone remember you is to make them feel special or important."

  • Use a different approach Instead of starting a conversation with, "What do you do?" opt for a more original opener, such as "What do you like to do in your free time?" or "What are you working on?" The questions show an interest in your subject and also hearken back to the previous point.

Click the link below for more simple ways to make solid career connections.

via US News & World Report

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