You spend all day writing email, but have you given much thought to your email signature? Probably not. Lots of us go about our business without considering whether our signatures are functional and presenting us in the best light. By making your email signature as descriptive and professional as possible, you make it easier to make a good impression through electronic communication.
Begin with the Email Signature Basics
Consider now the basic parts of an email signature.
- Name. Some people like to sign with a first initial and last name only, but leaving people in the dark about your full name can create communication confusion. Write out your name (first and last) so people feel comfortable engaging in conversation with you over email.
- Title. Maybe everyone within your organization knows your title, but people outside your organization probably don’t. Providing your title clears up confusion and lets people know who they’re talking to.
- Contact information. Provide a phone number and any other methods of contact that you would prefer email recipients to have.
- Pronouns. List your preferred pronouns to indicate the way you prefer to be addressed. Doing this also signals to others that you welcome them to do the same.
Consider Your Closing
Typical closing words include:
- Best (or “Best Regards”)
- Warmest Regards
- Kind regards
- All the best
- Yours sincerely
- Regards (or “Warmest Regards”)
Closings are not usually very personal, as there are a limited number of choices that everyone uses, but you can still choose a signature that matches your usual tone and preferred level of friendliness. For example, the closing “sincerely” may be perceived as more formal and traditional, while the closing “kind regards,” is a friendlier, warmer closing. Give thought to all the possible closings and choose the one that really matches your preferred style.
Some people like to add personality to their email signatures. You might choose to change the font of your signature, or increase or decrease the size. You may choose to add a link to your organization’s website, change the color of the font, or even add a personal favorite quote that has significance to you.
When adding personality to your email signature, keep these suggestions in mind:
- Keep it readable.
- Don’t make the font too light in color or too small in size.
- Avoid fonts with lots of extra lines or curly-cues.
One more thing… unless the email signature is your personal email, keep it professional. (That means proper spelling and grammar too!) You’ll go farther, and make a better first impression, when you focus on maintaining a professional demeanor with those you do business with.
About the Author: Kathryn Elwell grew up in the Midwest. She has experience in management and human resources, and has been writing on these topics and more for 12 years.