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Quick clarification here as I understand business cards' use for networking and freelancing and such - basically on the 'sales' end of things (whether selling products or yourself).

But is there a use for a technical person employed by a company to have business cards for that company with no individual contact information? I have a stack of cards and can think of no reason why I would be carrying around business cards for the company I work for since I am at the bottom of the totem pole and all my work is focused on internal use only.

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    sometimes connections tend to make themselves and a friendly reminder that you exist comes in card form. – easymoden00b Apr 28 '15 at 20:00
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    Around where I live and work, some restaurants have fishbowls (or something similar) into which you can drop your business card. Once a month they draw one out and the winner gets a free lunch! – GreenMatt Apr 28 '15 at 20:01
  • I can definitely see that use for it. – Bardicer Apr 28 '15 at 20:07
  • If you don't see a use for them, don't carry them. Your company probably just copy/pasted the employee names into an order form. Or maybe they got them for you so you wouldn't feel left out when everyone else had them. – GrandmasterB Apr 28 '15 at 20:14
  • First, is your company is giving you your business cards? Second, did your company make it explicit to you what you are to do with the business cards it supplied you? – Vietnhi Phuvan Apr 28 '15 at 20:16
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You represent your company

You are a representative of your company any where you go that you disclose your place of employment. Offsite training, conferences, events your company sponsors, etc. Sometimes people will want to reach your employer and providing them a business card enables this and puts you in a positive light.

Recruiting

Even if jobs aren't officially posted, we've all had those moments we know there is an opening or "soon to be opening" or that our company could really use a good (insert title here). When at conferences, sometimes you happen across that unnoticed talent, or that person of incredible expertise who's ready to make a move. You chat with them and realize they'd make a great asset to your company. Sure you're not a recruiter so don't have the authority to hire them, but getting them in touch with your employer could gain your company a great asset, and likely get you a little money and good rep with your company.

Business ideas

Let's say your company deals in a niche market such as providing tools to disc golfers to get them a variety of interesting / useful statistics. You bump paths with someone who works for another company that deals in monitoring systems for disc golf competitions. You don't have the authority to negotiate anything, but it becomes obvious a mutually beneficial relationship could be struck, so once again you pass on your card and promise to talk to (appropriate party) where this could become a lucrative relationship between your companies.

Customer connections

You may not be in sales, but it's still not a bad idea if you here someone complaining about something that your company offers a product to fix make the sale. Explain what you company does and offer them the card if they think they might be interested. Again when your company gets that big sale and when the person says "yeah, I bumped into your employee (name) at a conference and he told me about (product)" you're helping your company, and they know it.

It's actually about you

So why take the time to do all this when you don't get commission, etc? Simple anytime you do something that makes you a more valuable asset to your company you improve both your job security and better situate yourself for consideration of promotion as well as raises. (Plus you can always jot your number down in the event the connection is appropriate to be individual, such as another application developer on similar tech who seems to be a great resource to sharing research on new tech, common pitfalls, development ideas, etc.)

  • It can also be helpful for internal networking. You might think you are going to remember everyone's name you meet internally but you probably won't - a business card can be a good reminder (especially since there are so many apps to make this easy now). – enderland Apr 29 '15 at 12:51
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    @Nick, anytime, frankly it bothers me when companies are selective in who gets business cards to be only managers, vps, etc. It shows a lack of trust, plus let's be honest more often than not it's the individuals under management who do the most networking, visit user groups, talk to peers in the industry, go to conferences, know others in the field, etc. – RualStorge Apr 29 '15 at 16:01
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I am an Application Developer for a company, I use cards at conferences and get them printed exclusively for that.

Swapping cards is the best way make a quick 'contact' for following up with later. It is way better than any app I have found or been directed towards.

  • But these cards do not have personal contact information on them. Just company contact information. Just seems a bit odd to me that an individual who doesn't have authorization to engage in business on behalf of the company would have business cards bestowed upon them. – Bardicer Apr 28 '15 at 20:09
  • Ah, it was unclear that there is no personal information. I have edited the question to clarify. – fullerja Apr 28 '15 at 20:11
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is there a use for an application developer employed by a company to have business cards for that company with no individual contact information?

If the developer attends networking events where other developers may be around and the company is looking for developers, then it may make sense to have the cards with the general company information as the team hiring may not be the same as the application developer. Granted that someone from HR or other parts of the company may go to events as a better alternative, I could imagine some companies wanting to "spread the word" and this would be a way to do that.

  • Plus, this style of recruiting is WAY more reliable than going through recruiters since if a person was good enough you felt it appropriate to get them in touch with your employer than that's goes much further than a recruiter's recommendation. – RualStorge Apr 28 '15 at 21:06
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The card may not have personal information, but there should be enough there to contact you if needed. Your title and company also provide a little context of what you do.

I suggest having them for conferences, meetups, training classes, or any professional group get-togethers. Hand them out there. It's very convenient.

Your professional growth is important to your company whether they know it or not. You meet people and learn new things. Some may never be applicable to your job, but you never know for sure. I've made connections with people and have asked their advice on projects I have at work. Sometimes I've contacted others to do work for our company.

It's not what you know but who knows what you know. Get connected with other professionals and share your experience with them. Business cards make it easy or you can get techy and do this with a mobile device as well.

  • But wouldn't it be better in that case to have personal business cards for yourself, as opposed to your company? – Bardicer Apr 29 '15 at 16:22

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