LinkedIn QR code
(Credit: Photo by Derek Poore/CBS Interactive)

Handing out business cards has become an awkward ritual where we often apologize about how last-century it is to be handing out little slips of paper in the digital age.

Some have replace this routine by simply whipping out our phones, typing the person's name into LinkedIn, and sending a connection request. But that still takes longer than the dead tree exchange. And if the person doesn't have any business cards on them, then there's no guarantee you'll remember their name and be able to find it later.

LinkedIn is finally trying to combine the powerful of digital connections with the speed of exchanging business cards with the new QR Code feature in its Android and iOS apps. To get the get the functionality, just download the LinkedIn app for your phone or update to the latest version, if you already have the app.

SEE: Top job-search apps to boost your career (a guide)

Scanning someone's LinkedIn QR code

Go to the homepage of the LinkedIn app. On the right side of the search bar app, you'll now see a QR code icon. Tap it. By default, that brings up the option to scan someone else's code. The person you want to connect with simply needs to pull up "My code" from their LinkedIn app. You point the square in the middle of the screen at their QR code and LinkedIn automatically pulls up their profile page, where you can send a connection request.

LinkedIn QR code
(Credit: Screenshots via LinkedIn)

Alternatively, if someone texts or emails you their code, you can save the photo of their code to your phone. Then, from the Scan screen in the app, at the bottom of the screen you can select "Add code from Gallery" in Android or "Select code from photos" in iOS and it will have the same effect as live-scanning their code by pulling up the person's LinkedIn profile.

Sending someone your LinkedIn QR code

To start using your own LinkedIn QR Code, click the QR code button from the search bar in the LinkedIn app and then click the "My code." You can hold this up and have someone else scan it, and then your profile will automatically pop up in their app.

There are also some other options for sharing your LinkedIn QR code. On the "My code" screen, below the code itself are two options: "Share my code" and "Save to photos." When you click to share your code, you get the option to share just an image of the QR code itself, or your profile card with your photo, name, title, and QR code like the one on the "My code" screen.

SEE: Can LinkedIn finally kill the business card with new mobile app QR codes? (TechRepublic)

You can then send your code to someone via text, email, Slack, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, or another communications app installed on your phone. Or, you could post it to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or another social network to invite your contacts there to connect with you on LinkedIn.

Alternatively, by saving the image of your QR code or your QR code profile card to your Photos (or Gallery on Android), you can then use that image to post on your personal website, put it at the bottom of your email signature, embed it into your resume, or even get crazy and print it out before you go to an event so that it's available to quickly connect with people who want to follow up with you.

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  1. New LinkedIn QR code feature in the LinkedIn app streamlines connecting digitally to make it nearly as fast as exchanging business cards.
  2. The feature also makes it easy to let people send you a connection request by posting your QR code on your website, in your email signature, or even embedding it into your resume.

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Jason is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is the co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks. Since the the dot com boom, he's been writing about the ways technology is transforming how we live and work in the 21st century.