Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Email Signatures and Your Professional Image

According to "The Etiquette Book: A complete guide to modern manners" by Jodi R.R. Smith, signatures serve a simple but essential function.

"Unless you are emailing a friend or coworker, do not assume that the recipient will know exactly who you are or, if sending a business message, be familiar with your organization," cautions Smith. "You may need to specifically identify yourself toward the beginning of the body of the email and/or include your title and company name as part of your signature."

Good advice, and something that is often overlooked. Email is so second nature to many people that they forget some of the basic formalities of communication. Your attention to detail not only reflects your professional image, but that of your organization.

Smith believes an email signature should have a few key elements:
Full name
Company name
Job title or division
Mailing address
Telephone number
Company website
Social media links
Email address

Now, if you are a student and just starting your career, you should adapt this to project a more professional image during your job search.

Full name
School name (once you graduate, you can leave this off)
Major or area of expertise (ie Industrial Designer)
Telephone number
Email address
Website/Portfolio (professional site, not personal if applicable)
Social media links (professional only, like LinkedIn or a blog) optional

By Gretchen E. Burruto
RIT Office of Co-op and Career Services


  1. The key elements that you have mentioned about email signature are up to the mark. And its true that an email signature should contain all these points. I am also trying to learn about digital signature scheme and have read these rules earlier. Thanks.

  2. I have recently changed my email programs to have a more visually appealing signature. If you have written me recently, you have undoubtedly seen it.
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