Holiday Cards: The Old-Fashioned Social Networking Strategy

Holiday Cards: The Old-Fashioned Social Networking Strategy

Sending your current or former boss a Christmas card helps you stay in his or her good graces, acts as a subtle form of networking and is a small but important investment in your professional future. But before you dash off a holiday card to your boss, follow these tips from the reference-checking firm Allison & Taylor to be sure your greeting is well received:

· Choose a high-quality holiday card that will not offend its recipient. Remember, not everyone celebrates Christmas, so be mindful of religious and cultural differences, particularly with your international recipients.
· Choose a design that is appropriate for your business associates.
· Include one of your business cards inside the greeting card. This small insertion ensures that your recipients have your most current contact information and will reinforce your name with the card's recipient.
· Be sure that your inscriptions on the outside of the card are both legible and attractive – you can even get fancy by using calligraphy. Also, be sure to include your return address on the mailing envelope.
· Sign each card personally. It only takes a moment to sign your name and write a short greeting, and your business associates will notice and appreciate this more personal gesture.
· Check the spelling of your contacts and their corporate name. Any good points you’ll score with a holiday card will be lost if you misspell your contact's name or corporate information.
· Keep your contact list accurate and up-to-date. Make sure you're not sending a card to someone who has left the department or the company.
· Don't be late. In life and in business, timing is everything. Remember that many companies close during the holidays and people take vacation to be with family, so send your cards early.

For eco-conscious employees who might wish to save some paper, time and money by sending an e-card or social media greeting, proceed with caution. Older senior managers might regard e-cards as inappropriate or cavalier. And because they often are sent en masse, e-cards also lack to the personal touch of a card mailed individually to the boss's door. All things considered, it's probably best to play it safe and send a paper card.

You can't go wrong with a thoughtful, traditional holiday greeting card that helps make a good impression on your business contacts. So put on some Christmas music, pour a little eggnog, get out those stamps and envelopes and get started on sending some Christmas cheer.

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