How to Write Your Name on a Business Card 1-2-3

#1) How to Write Your Name

—-A)  It can be your legal name or your ‘go-by’ name. The purpose of the card it to provide your contact information. So if you want them to call you “Sandford Mitchell” use that name. If you want them to call you “Sandy Mitchell” use that name.

—-B)  Don’t give yourself an honorific or rank: No Mr., Ms., Judge, Ambassador, or Dr. in front of your name. How to Write Your Name on a Business Card

—-C)  Your card is not your CV/resume. Do not include former titles or jobs.  If you are in a new job, how you present your name should be supported by that present role – not a former role, rank or title.  Use a form of your name related to your current position – not your former one.

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

#2) How Many Post Nominals to Use?

In academia and research people list every degree and honor the have ever earned. Their degrees and honors are central to the academic environment.

Outside academia people include only degrees that are directly pertinent to the service you offer / job you hold.

Double degrees – M.S., M.S. – would not be wrong – you might get some questions. If someone asks what’s up, it’s an opportunity to talk about your education.

Regarding B.A., B.A.: in an academic journal it could be pertinent but outside of academia it is rare you see a B.A. included with a person’s name.

For more on use of post-nominal abbreviations see the page on Post Nominal Abbreviations.

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

#3) Which Post Nominals to Use?

Clearly earning those degrees is a great accomplishment. Whether you include degrees on your business card … or don’t … depends on several things.

—-#1) A business card is not a resume/CV. A card is what you give to another person so you can keep in touch – addresses and numbers.

—-#2) Include the pertinent post-nominals [degrees, licenses, certifications] that support the service/skill you offer.  Your degrees state your preparation to hold the job. Post-nominal define the professional certifications you possess to provide the service … M.D., D.D.S., O.D., R.N., C.P.A., M.S.W., M.B.A. …. etc.

—-—-E.g., a C.P.A. might list only C.P.A. after his name since it’s pertinent to his/her professional practice … even though he/she might have a B.A. and a M.A. as well … a business consultant and holder of an M.B.A. might list M.B.A. … but not other, less pertinent, degrees.

Ultimately it will be your peers who are the most critical … so see what others are doing and follow their lead!

– Robert Hickey

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"