Best Ways to Organize Business Cards after a Conference or an Interview
You've just attended another huge conference and your pockets and goodie bags are overflowing with business cards obtained during your business contact spree, or maybe you have just had a slew of job interviews and have all of your interviewers' business cards in your briefcase, so what now? If you're not sure how to organize all of these business cards then read on for a few tips.
First things first, as you gather business cards you should jot down a quick note on the back of each regarding who handed you the card. Maybe it's just a few words to help you remember their face, something along the lines of "tall, red hair, southern accent" will do fine, or you could write a bit about what you talked about "Duke basketball fan, went to med school in Texas", anything that is going to trigger the memory for you. If you have collected several business cards at once as you walk down a vendor aisle at a conference or job fair then take a few notes after the event about the job potential or maybe some inside job information that a potential employer offered you.
After you have all of your cards with notes, divide them into two piles: important and trash. There is no use in keeping a business card for someone that you have no intention of contacting. Throw away the trash pile then taken the important pile and begin to contact each of the people in the pile. A business contact is not a contact if you just have their business card, you will need to establish a relationship with each of them. Shoot them an email or call them up just to say how you enjoyed your conversation with them or thank them for their time and interest in you. This is especially critical for you if you are job hunting, the follow up is nearly as important as the interview or first meeting.
Once you have made initial contact then file the business cards away in your business card folder. You should have a few categories such as "potential clients", "clients", "vendors", etc. These categories should match your own personal business card needs. After you have filed your cards don't forget to keep up with your business contacts. A simple email or phone call once a month or so will do fine, just something to keep the communication lines open for when you really need to contact them.