Pro Tips / October 14, 2014

Fix your Online John Handcock!

You’ve all seen them, you might even have one, it could be as simple as “sent from my iPhone to or as complicated as one with a rainbow of colors and dancing babies, but what is the secret to a good email signature? You send a great deal of emails, right? Of course you do, we all do. That is why now more than ever it is important to have a good email signature to sign off on the reams of electronic paper you’ve been sending off to far flung corners of the world.


Everyone’s signature will be a different, and you will want to revise and update yours as you move through your academic career. Some items are essential to a good signature.


  • Obviously you need your name. Make sure you go with your full name, or the name you prefer people to call you. This isn’t necessarily the place for friendly nicknames.


  • You should include your current major, as well as minor if you have one.


  • The name of the University as well as your expected year of graduation


  • IF you want to be contacted, and you should if someone needs to schedule an interview or set up an appointment, you’ll want your phone number. Make sure you have your current number and one you will at least check and return calls from if you can’t answer right away. So unless you have a dedicated landline you spend lots of time sitting next to, you may want to use your cell phone.


  • Although you might think any person who will read your email will already have your address, for convenience’s sake include your current email address. messages forwarded or copied may not include it.



  • You could include a personal website or social networking site if appropriate. This works well especially if you are involved in a field like graphic design and want to link to a portfolio etc. Not necessary for everyone.




You now know the elements of a signature, but watch out for these pitfalls:


Keep it concise, while still providing important information. DO NOT try to fit your entire resume into a signature. That looks cluttered and can be quite distracting. Your signature should be longer than the majority of emails you send!


Plain, professional test is best. Skip special typefaces, fonts and graphics; these don’t always transfer to recipients well and can come off as quite tacky. Think professional.


Avoid including multiple emails and phone numbers. Go ahead and choose only the best one for each category.


Think carefully before you list any outside social media accounts you have. You should only list LinkedIn, Skype, Twitter, or Facebook if your profiles are updated and professional, and you wish for others to contact you on those platforms. Again, not every person you send an email to needs to see the picture from the last big party you went to.


Avoid quotes of passages from the Bible or other religious sources that could cause offense, it comes off as unprofessional. Remember with the inter-connectivity that the internet allows for, you never know who you might have to email next.


If you send emails from your smartphone, update your signature on that mobile device. Having a signature looks more professional than “sent from my iPhone”, etc.

Tags:  Academic Success Career Email How to Online Online tips Professional Professionalism signiture

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