You may not spend much time thinking about how to end your email correspondence, other than maybe adding a closing (“Thanks!”) with your name. But given how much we rely on email to communicate both personally and professionally, a naked email signature can be a missed opportunity.
Read on to learn why the bottom of your emails can be valuable space to promote and elevate your personal brand, and what information you might want to include in your signature.
Why your email signature matters
Whether you’re communicating for business, school, or social reasons, your email signature is a great place to showcase who you are and share other ways for people to connect with you.
If you’re a working professional, you may already have a custom signature for your work email. Most businesses will have employees create a standardized signature with their name, title, phone number, and maybe the company website.
But don’t forget about your personal email account or any other accounts you use regularly. When you’re networking, you’ll want a polished look to your emails and be able to promote your personal brand with new connections.
Creating your custom signature
With most popular email providers, you can create one or more personalized email signatures that generate automatically at the end of your outgoing messages. They make it easy to customize your settings and you can choose when to include or exclude your signature.
Formatting a basic custom email signature doesn’t require any coding, and you can find step-by-step instructions for customizing your email signature from your email provider:
There are also some online tools for generating a professional-looking signature, like Gimmio or MySignature. These platforms typically offer a free version for a basic design, along with paid pro versions to unlock more features.
This signature was created on Gimmio using the free tool:
Once you learn how to create your custom email signature, what should you include? The answer really depends on what you want people to learn about you, but there are a few things that generally work well across the board.
6 things to include in your email signature
Aside from your name (which everyone should include at the bare minimum) the right information to include in an email signature will vary from person to person.
Here are six items you can consider adding, based on your preferences:
Title / business name
If you’re trying to build a reputation as a professional in your industry or have a business of your own to promote, definitely include your title and/or business name on your email signature.
If you’re a student, you might want to instead share your major and/or school name.
Hermione Granger, Undergraduate, Potions Studies
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry
Adding pronouns to your email signature helps ensure you’ll be addressed in the way you prefer. It can also be helpful to those you’re emailing — especially if you’ve never met — and can remove any ambiguity if you have a gender-neutral name.
David Rose (he/him)
Co-Owner, Rose Apothecary
Secondary contact info
If you feel comfortable sharing your phone number, it can be good to include in your email signature. This gives your email contacts another way to reach you, and shows you are open and available to communicate.
If you have a website or online portfolio of your work, you can also include that URL in your signature and add a direct link. This gives people a way to learn more about you and allows you to show off your work in a subtle way.
Your social media presence is an important extension of your personal brand and can be good to include in your email signature. Just be sure that any profiles you link to are professional and appropriate. (You don’t want to send a potential employer a link to your Instagram with pictures of you having a little too much fun at Mardi Gras.)
You can use the social channel icons (as seen in Alexis’s example signature above) and link those images to your corresponding profile URLs.
Photo or logo
If you want to add a personal touch and help your contacts put a face with a name, you can include a headshot in your email signature. Just make sure the image is clear and looks professional.
If you don’t want to include a photo you can opt for your business or school logo instead. (And if that’s not applicable, you could simply add any graphic of your choice to add some interest to your signature.)
Calendar booking link
While this one might not make sense for everyone, if you work in sales or some other field where you’re scheduling a lot of meetings with many different people, adding a direct link to book an appointment with you can save a lot of time.
Scheduling software like Calendly connects with your calendar and allows you to include a link in your email signature that people can click to book a meeting with you. They offer a free basic version for individuals, or you can pay a monthly fee for more functionality.
Learn more about building your personal brand
Take a deeper dive into personal branding topics in the Passport to Success course, available to all members and alumni in the MyAKPsi Community. Log in for more career and professional development resources to help you thrive in the working world.