In this post I’ll share tips and questions to ask yourself when creating an email signature. The instructions will be specific to Outlook, but the concepts apply to any email program.
This week a peer of mine asked me:
“Do you have any tips or advice for creating an email signature? I interact with external customers quite a bit and would like to appear more professional over email.”
For those of you who are not familiar with email signatures, you can create a templatized signature at the bottom of your emails to include text, images, your electronic business card, a logo, and more. You can set up Outlook (or your favorite email client of choice) so that signatures are automatically added to all outgoing messages (replies and / or new messages) or add it to emails manually on a case-by-case basis.
Questions to ask yourself
Before you create your signature, take some time to think about who is the audience that will be reading your email signature. What things might they want to know about you, the work you do, how to find you (calendar, blog, etc.), etc.? The following are a series of items you may want to consider:
- LinkedIn profile link
- GitHub profile link
- personal / work blog link
- links to documentation or projects you work on
- link to schedule a meeting with you (could be your work calendar availability or a scheduling service)
- email address for sharing feedback (ex. manager, group alias, etc.)
- upcoming OOF (you need to update regularly)
- time zone / working hours
- inspirational quote
- …and more
An additional thought is to look at signatures that you can seen from other people and ask them if it is ok to borrow / copy / adapt it. I’ve done this many times in the past and my current signature was adapted from a colleague at Microsoft.
The following is my current signature as an example:
Brian T. Jackett
Sr. Program Manager | Microsoft Graph CPx
Blog: BrianTJackett.com | Microsoft Teams (Chat) | Calendar availability (EST/EDT)
If you have any feedback about my work, please share with me or my manager, <redacted>.
How to add your email signature to Outlook
- Copy your email signature
- Open a new email message in Outlook
- On the Message menu, select Signatures, then New, and type in a nickname for this signature
- Paste in your new signature
- Select OK to save and exit the email signature editor
Hopefully this post gives you some inspiration on what you would like to include. If you have suggestions or would like to share your own signature(s) please post in the comments.