If you’re a busy professional like I am, you do a lot of emailing. In job search, you’re probably emailing even more than usual. This increased traffic of professional correspondence begs the question:
How can I best sign my email messages?
If you’ve just been signing your name, you’re missing a golden opportunity to reinforce your executive personal brand and further market your unique promise of value.
Take the time to put together an email signature that will leave a lasting impression and also lead people to all the on-brand information they need to know (and you want them to know) about you.
It’s fairly easy to configure your email account with an automatic signature for outgoing messages. Once you’ve created one, you can easily insert, adjust, or remove your signature depending upon the recipient.
When creating your signature, assume that the email recipient will know nothing about you, but will want to know about you. Keep it brand-evident and on-point – don’t bog them down with clutter and an overly long laundry list.
Definitely do the following to brand your email signature:
Use your full name, not a nickname. Even if you know the recipient well, your email may be forwarded to someone else who will have no idea who “Bobby” is.
Include your current title and employer. If you’re not employed, include your professional title, such as “Global Business Operations Leader” or “Senior Turnaround Management Executive”.
Provide the best phone number to reach you at any time. Don’t confuse with several numbers. Your cell phone is probably the best bet (you won’t need to worry about having someone at work, or or anyone besides yourself, intercept the call).
Send a clear value message with an abbreviated version (1-2 lines) of your personal brand positioning statement. Haven’t worked on your brand statement? Then invest some thought in a short brand tagline that showcases your strengths while differentiating the value you offer over your competition in the job market. Make your tagline, and therefore yourself, memorable.
Use your personal email address. No reason to take the risk of job-search-related emails popping up in your inbox while your current boss is sitting at your desk talking to you.
Include a link to your personal blog or website “About” page, if you have one (if not, sign up now!). This is the portal to all of your personal branding efforts!
Include your LinkedIn profile badge (instructions here) or URL, or a link to your Google Profile. Either of these can stand in if you don’t have a website.
Include your VisualCV badge or URL.
Include the phrase “Follow me on Twitter” with a link, if you’re active there. You should be!
You may also want to include these in your email signature, especially if you don’t have some of the above essentials:
Relevant certifications and credentials
A recent noteworthy publication of yours (book, e-book, white paper, etc.)
A link to a professional video of you
It’s best to use plain text without special characters, to be sure everything will appear at the receiving end just as you sent it. Only use what’s on your keyboard, such as pipes ( | ) or colons ( :: ), to separate the text, and tildes ( ~ ), hyphens ( – ), or asterisks ( * ) for bullets.
Write out URLs instead of using hyperlinks. They may not show up in your recipients’ email message.
Skip your home mailing address. You don’t want security-sensitive information floating around out there.
Avoid including a legal disclaimer notice, unless you’re required to for some reason.
An expanded, branded email signature will mark you as up-to-date and savvy to the new world of work. It will help decision makers vetting candidates like you learn what differentiates the value you offer over others.
Design your signature to resonate with your target audience and entice them to want to open your attachments and consider you.
An Executive Personal Branding, Online Identity and Job Search Strategist, Meg is a 20-year careers industry professional and one of only a handful of people worldwide to hold the Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist and Master Resume Writer credentials, both gold standards.
“I love my work collaborating with savvy senior executives and entrepreneurs who know where they’re going, but need help differentiating their unique promise of value in the new world of work and executive job search, and positioning themselves to work their passion. My clients are typically c-suite, senior-level executives and rising stars.”