At the end of a perfect business email, you have one more chance to leave a great impression: the signature.
There are important guidelines to follow in crafting your signature. It should be specific to your current title and goals, and so it's likely to change.
"A person's email signature should evolve with their education and career," says email expert Danny Rubin.
In his book, "Wait, How Do I Write This Email?," Rubin details the ins and outs of writing the perfect email signature. These four guidelines can help you adjust your signature and maintain the professional polish that will make you stand out.
There are dozens of ways someone can contact you, but you should focus on the best ones. "You don't need to give people nine ways to contact you," says Rubin. Instead of cramming as much information as possible into the end of your email, stick to the information that is most helpful.
Start by including your name, title and phone number. Next, you can include your email address, Twitter handle and LinkedIn page. No need to include any more contact information than this, says Rubin. Keeping things simple is more professional and will streamline your lines of communication.
Some email experts suggest designing a signature with tools like Photoshop, saving it as an image and pasting it into the bottom of all of your emails. Rubin says this is a mistake because some email services do not display images right away. "I always worry about email spam filters," he says.
Instead, type out your signature the old fashioned way. Rubin explains, "Keep it as text, so email services won't block people from seeing it."
Saving your signature as one big image also makes it difficult to change. If you get a promotion, you will want to tailor your signature efficiently and professionally. Text allows you to do this.
Rubin finds that many great signatures fail to meet their full potential because they lack links. If you include a personal website, twitter handle or LinkedIn profile always be sure to hyperlink the related text.
By making it easy for people to check out these external pages, you increase your exposure and improve your chances of impressing your colleague.
One thing to keep in mind is the length of the link. Rubin says, "Make links long enough so they're easy to click on a smartphone." Double-checking that your links can be easily followed on all devices is the kind of attention to detail that separates a good signature from a great one.
Your email signature is a golden opportunity to brand yourself. Make aesthetic choices that reflect the type of person you want to be, but don't stray too far. Always choose a professional font and an easy-to-read color.
If you have a portfolio of work that you would like to show off, Rubin suggests taking your branding one step further with a personal hashtag.
"The hashtag lets you give people a quick look at your background and interests," says Rubin. While this may be unconventional advice, it could be the added dose of creativity that will set you — and your email — apart.
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