Uses of the personal and professional card

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As the World Protocol Magazine Editorial Board, we take enormous pride in keeping this platform open to all experts from the numerous fields of business and protocol: Wilfredo Pérez Ruiz, from Peru is one of many who have taken the opportunity of working together with WPM.

Mr Ruiz studied Business Administration at the Peruvian Institute of Business Administration and Administration and Management in International at the Columbia Educational Corporation, specialising in Political Science at the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega University and Protocol and Event Organization at the Frieda Holler Institute and at the Diplomatic Academy of Peru.

He is now professional in organization of events, corporate communication, protocol and social etiquette, member of the World Protocol Organisation and the Latin American Ceremonial Organization. He is the Director of the Peru-division at the Latin American Network of Event Organizers. Furthermore, he is a teacher at the San Ignacio de Loyola Institute, the ELA Secretariat Institute, the Mónica Chacón School of Modeling and Integral Image and The Style Institute.  In his second article published by World Protocol Magazine article, he explains the use and importance of personal and business cards in the 21st century.

An issue that should be avoided is often unnoticed by men and women who are eager to project a good perception and, especially, by professionals eager to apply essential protocol tips, is that of their business card.

It is an element that some consider outdated and of little significance. However, on numerous occasions we need to give it to our colleagues or acquaintances – with whom we establish a formal or personal connection – one that facilitates continuing the bond that has begun. The job of the card is important, modern, and elegant.

I would start by specifying their characteristics, similarities, and roles. The personal card is provided to members of your environment of friends and family. The names and surnames are placed; admits nobility titles, dispenses academic degrees as happens due to ignorance or exhibitionism. At the same time, it contains our particular information: address, telephone numbers and social networks. Out of habit and caution, women only place a phone number and their email.

I advise that your design and font match your “style” and also use inconspicuous colours. Skip ornaments, outlines, and ornate text. They must be carried in a card holder to prevent deterioration, never in your pocket or wallet. Refuse to use those with outdated data and much less it occurs to you, as it often happens, to cross out the incorrect ones and write the current ones. Nothing more ordinary and lacking in appearance.

In the social sphere, the lady will give her card to the gentleman, so that he can deliver it. However, let us bear in mind the expression “card that is received, card that is returned”, in case the male offers it first. Give up the folly of distributing them as playing cards or propaganda flyers. Also, do not request someone else’s; if you are interested in obtaining it, please grant yours. Remember to appeal to current, timely, and often lacking “common sense.”

By tradition, married couples have one that they will use to send gifts, flowers, etc. Include the names of the husband and spouse, without any additional information. The woman is not obliged to adopt the surname of the consort; that is up to you. These are called business cards and they fulfil a substantial function in social terms. Also, single ladies or gentlemen can use it.

Next, I will describe the details of the professional card. Its application is only intended for work tasks. In this sense, it will confer it to men and women with whom it has a relationship of that nature. In this scenario, the one with the highest hierarchy will give his to the one with the lowest rank. If the opposite happens, the phrase mentioned above applies. I propose to have a pocket card holder and a desk holder in order to avoid possible omissions. Keep one aside to file the received ones. The efficient organization will avoid uncomfortable situations.

I advise offering it at the beginning of a work meeting, in order to provide your interlocutor with your information when starting the conversation. For obvious reasons, it will contain the name of your organization, location, email, telephone numbers, social networks, etc. Its size, colour, sketch, text and logo will be consistent with the corporate identity. It is permissible to place the data in two languages: one on each side.

One detail to consider is its measurement. The recommended format, both for professional and personal use, is: nine centimetres wide by five and a half centimetres high. Its thickness will depend on the preferred model; choose one that is consistent and of optimal quality. In the market there are wide varieties of materials at affordable prices.

There are individuals who, in multiple circumstances, to try to justify their lack of cards say “sorry, I forgot them”, “I have not brought them with me today”, among other excuses. They must always accompany us, no matter where we go. We do not know in what contingency we will need them. Your image is tarnished when you use a piece of paper to write down your data. Avoid being a victim of those embarrassing shortcomings.

I want to refer to an additional detail: never encourage their exchange at a table while the diners are eating. Do it when you say goodbye when the evening is over. It is obvious to alter these pleasant moments with such visible impoliteness; Appeal to an iota of judgment in order to avoid discomfort to the assistants. Also, do not put your cell phone, key chain, case, or glasses on top as if they were covered. These daily practices – in peers of any age, origin, or sex – reveal irrelevant relevance.

Knowing the importance of the social label and guaranteeing its consistent application will enhance your personality, generate a climate of sympathy around you, strengthen your human coexistence and facilitate increasing your quality of life. It is an added value in your “identikit”; even more so if he exercises a leadership position in which his actions are a reference and inspiration for his collaborators.

In particular, numerous executives -with high business positions- show meagre manners and little sense, amid abundant hardships. Their profile must incorporate qualities aimed at enhancing their performance such as: relevant education, soft skills, values, ​​and handling of minimum guidelines that complement their hard skills.

One final reflection: at the end of a job interview, offer your card. It will show an executive, modern and educated performance. They will surely reward your gesture and thus you will be able to send an electronic communication of gratitude for the granted meeting. This procedure will make you stand out, create a favourable impression, and add a touch of distinction.

Protocol, once again, presents contributions for its improvement. Apply them naturally, fluidly and perseverance in all time, sphere, and environment. Your actions will be imitated and admired. The words of the famous French writer Gustavo Flaubert, author of the work “Madame Bovary” come to mind: “Style, like water, is better the less it knows”.


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