Sincerely, yours: The do’s and don’ts of email signatures
When entering the professional world, students must learn new behavioral nuances, from a firm handshake, to a well-designed resume, to proper email etiquette. Personalized email signatures seem to be tacked on the end of every correspondence, notifying the recipient of the sender’s name and other pertinent information. Email signatures are becoming increasing long, often times competing in length with the entire body of the message itself.
Rachel Coppola, the associate director of the career development and campus engagement team at Career Services Center (CSC), believes proper email etiquette is an important professional skill that students should know how to execute correctly. Here are some do’s and don’ts she shared:
DO have one. According to Coppola, every person, including university students, should have an email signature on their personal and school email.
“Think of it as your personal business card,” Coppola says. “It tells people how to contact you and who you are. Especially since many students do not need or have physical business cards, it serves as quick opportunity to paint a picture of who you are.”
DON’T include your entire résumé. According to Coppola, your signature should not have every leadership position you have and organization you are a part of.
“Unless you are constantly communicating on behalf of an organization, a signature should not have excessive information about your involvement,” Coppola says. “If you are president of an organization that relies heavily on your email correspondence, then a line about your involvement is appropriate.”
DO include your email, phone number and LinkedIn profile linked to the LinkedIn logo. This gives people a way to contact you and learn more if they want. It is also an opportunity to share all your campus involvement without explicitly stating all of it under your name.
DON’T include pictures or inspirational quotes. You never know how a logo or picture will show up on a recipient’s device, which might lead to poorly adjusted formatting.
DO include your pronouns, if you do your research and it’s something that you feel comfortable with.
“It’s becoming increasingly popular to include your pronouns, especially in student life,” Coppola says. “I think it is a great practice to create a culture of acceptance.”
DO ask questions. CSC works with students that are curious about etiquette and professional communication.
While it may be tempting to share your accomplishments and personality with those you are communicating with, email signatures should be seen an extension of a professional interaction. In the end, it’s best to avoid the “xoxo” and résumé padding and keep it simple.