This is otherwise known as “business card etiquette,” and it is probably one of the best ways to network when you meet a very important person (who is most likely on the run, since they are always so busy).
In most cases, a person only has about 30 seconds to make a good first impression. Now, when you are talking to a possible future employer, connection, client, etc. It is important to keep friendly and professional. Strike a conversation with them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like, “What is your drink of choice?” Make yourself stand out among the rest. For example, recently at my university, two campus recruiters from Marriott International came to discuss what it is like working for their company and how to apply for internships. This is an opportunity that doesn’t come around every day, so of course I had to take advantage of it.
When you feel like the conversation is nearing the end, make sure you end it on a good note! Don’t be afraid to ask to take this important person out to dinner or coffee to continue the conversation. If their time happens to be booked back-to-back, ask for a business card. Nine times out of 10 they will have a business card handy. If not, they might ask you to connect on LinkedIn, instead. When I met with the Marriott International recruiter, I had offered to take her and her associate to coffee. It was unfortunate they couldn’t since they were booked up the rest of their trip, but I received a business card and an invitation to connect via LinkedIn.
Just because I received a business card, the venture does not end there. In order to make a lasting impression, USE the business card! That’s right, you shouldn’t just store the card away for when an opportunity to use it arises. It is likely that the person you spoke to will not remember your name or what you talked about simply because they are just that busy. The best thing to do is write an e-mail giving a summary of what you talked about and how you would like to keep in touch in the future (TIP: write key words of what you talked about on the back of so you can recall that information when you write the email!). Employers will be very impressed with your business card etiquette and you will definitely be remembered and receive praise
Keep these things in mind the next time you find yourself meeting with a very important person, and I hope these tips help you make connections for the future!