Answer: A business card.
After all it is a business card that gives you an easy opportunity to turn an offline interaction into an online relationship.
If you've ever asked yourself, "What the heck do I do with all these business cards?" the answer is follow up with those individuals by sending them a personalized LinkedIn connection request.
We met last week at the [Alumni event] that took place at the [Michigan Union]. We exchanged business cards. Would you mind if I add you to my LinkedIn network? Because I'd like to follow up with you and learn more about …
This is just one example so don't feel confined to this format. Just remember that the more specific the better but at the same time don't feel overwhelmed to be as detailed as possible if it means writing more than 3-4 sentences - brevity is key here.
Additionally if you have any questions, concerns or just want us to look over something for you don't hesitate to send us your message on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter - or to schedule an appointment with one of our Career Counselors here at The Career Center.
You'll be surprised by the number of doors that can open from the simple step of connecting your online and offline relationships. To see an example check out Lindsey Kirchoff who wrote a LinkedIn post that talks about how she went from an unemployed grad to landing her dream job at HubSpot.
So to sum everything up, make sure to never leave home without your business cards. It's much easier to ask for someone's business card/contact information after you've offered them your info first.
If you don't already have a set of business cards then you're in luck because the Alumni Association has a special offer that states "Every U-M student is eligible to receive a free set of 30 business cards, compliments of the Alumni Association." They're currently accepting card orders from September 4 through September 18 via their website - so don't miss your opportunity to take advantage of a free set of business cards.
Photo credit: commanderK / CC BY 2.0