Moving Beyond Business Cards: Networking In Today's Digital World

A decade or so deep into the digital age, the traditional business card has been struggling to keep up with the times. Although it still has its place in the established traditions of the professional world, the tech industry and a new generation of young professionals are turning to networking websites and smartphone applications to make new business connections and opportunities happen faster. With a website or app, professional details can be saved with a few mouse clicks or a swipe of a screen. Information can also even be swapped by simply "bumping" two smartphones together. (Let’s hope that this won’t replace the hearty handshake.) Here are five new ways that people connect professionally:


1. Twitter

The most popular micro-blogging site on the Internet, Twitter is known for celebrity gossip and minute-by-minute news reports, but it is also being used as a business card replacement. In fact, some tech industry professionals have business cards with only their Twitter handle on them. Using tweets for regular updates can keep a wide pool of contacts informed on your latest projects and ideas. And, if they need your help or input, they can reply to you quickly and directly.

2. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world's largest professional networking website, with more than 175 million members in more than 200 countries — impressive figures for a company that was started by a single guy in his living room. More than half of the site’s members are located outside the United States, so this network can instantly open your connections to international possibilities.

3. Bump

This ingenious app for smartphones relies on a phone's movement sensor and an Internet connection for trading contact info by physically bumping two phones together. With both phones running the app, the close proximity of the two phones swaps details and sends them to the Bump servers through the cloud network, updating your contact lists.

4. Instagram

The hugely popular picture-taking and sharing app has been making itself useful for networking. Used in the same way as Twitter, but with images, Instagram can show off new products and projects, as well as keep a record of past ones. This allows a quick and easy way for a new contact to get an idea of who you are and what you can accomplish as a professional.

5. QR Codes

Quick-response codes were introduced to the public by way of the auto industry’s need to access large amounts of data quickly. A variety of QR code scanners are available as smartphone applications, and scanning a code will bring up your personal website or your company’s website, as well as links to all of the networking websites and smartphone applications listed above. Of course, this mode of data transfer does require a business card to be printed onto, but the amount of information provided takes the traditional business card into new realms of possibility.
This article was written by Social Media Outreach Coordinator Joshua John on behalf of CAREEREALISM-Approved Partner, 2U — an education technology company that partners with institutions of higher education such as the University of Southern California which provides a Masters in Military Social Work degree online.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In our new YouTube series, "Well This Happened" it's your turn to be the career coach! What would you do if you asked a coworker when the baby was due and she responded with, "I'm not pregnant." Watch the video and cast your vote b posting a comment on Youtube. We'll select one person from the correct answers at random to win free membership to the Work It Daily program. Good luck!

SHOW MORE Show less

If you've ever wondered what a Work It Daily (WID) membership could do for you, a letter we got this week provides a powerful example...

SHOW MORE Show less

There are 3 things hiring managers are trying to initially assess about you in the job interview. This video walks you through what they are looking for and offers insights into the right information to give them. Be sure to check out our free resources mentioned in the video too. They are:

SHOW MORE Show less

Last week during my Office Hours on Youtube, a client asked about how to deal with a workplace bully. After spending many years in corporate HR, I flipped to the other side and became a career therapist. So, I've seen both sides of this situation in the workplace. In this video, I discuss why people struggle to deal with bullies and what you can do to change the situation instantly.

This week, I did something that truly scared me. I sent an email to over 120,000 Work It Daily newsletter subscribers and asked them to answer the question, "What do we do?"

SHOW MORE Show less

A market correction is going to happen. When it does, layoffs will follow. I've been in the HR and recruiting industry for over two decades and have seen three recessions of varying sizes. In the video above, I explain how to tell when a recession is coming and what that means to you and your career. While many people will skip watching this. Or, will watch it and do nothing. I hope YOU are the smart, savvy professional who sees how important it is to prepare for unexpected, unwelcomed career circumstances.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this video, you'll learn how to tell if your career is plateauing due to the Executive Blues. You'll also learn what you can do to fix the problem and get your "executive energy" back so you can keep your career on track and set goals to reach new heights of success!

Want to watch the full video tutorial by J.T.?

CLICK HERE to get access!