Email is still the dominant form of official communication today. From salespeople and marketers to students, everyone is constantly striving to make a powerful first impression on their email recipients.
After all, it is this importance that develops strong relationships and reinforces awareness about their brands, skills, or achievements. Thus, in order to communicate effectively with whoever you want to, you need to know how to use email technology effectively.
As a student, no matter how much time you spend writing an email, realize that your recipient might be receiving hundreds of emails per day from various sources. Thus, if you want to create a good impression on them, then your email truly needs to stand out from the others.
Although most students focus well on crafting a solid subject line and body, they tend to overlook email signatures.
A properly designed email signature is an effective way of creating a good impression and building credibility. It is a smart method of accomplishing your goal without actually doing anything much.
In this guide, I will help you learn how to create a professional college, master’s, or graduate student email signature. Before that, let us see what exactly an email signature in general is.
What is an email signature?
An email signature is essentially the last piece of your email content that contains all necessary details about you, along with an appropriate logo, crest, or picture. It serves as a personalized sign-off that appears at the end of every email that you send out. Even more importantly, it is an effective way of putting some professionalism and personality into your email communication.
Whether you are a student just starting out at college/university or a recent graduate looking for a job, a well-constructed email signature can help you in numerous ways. It is, therefore, important for you to put some meticulous effort into creating it and avoid the common mistakes that students tend to make. We’ll extensively discuss these details down below.
What is the importance of an email signature?
Including a professional attitude is an enormous virtue for your academic career, and a properly constructed email signature helps you achieve just that. Whether you are a college student or a qualified graduate, it goes on to show that you have been taking yourself and your work or studies seriously.
With the help of an email signature, you can conclude your message in style and:
- Create a good first impression
- Demonstrate your credibility
- Highlight your training and/or skills
- Brand yourself by showcasing your style and appearing professional
- Let people know when you’re looking for a job or internship
- Lay-out your detailed contact information
- Connect other professional profiles of yours, such as your LinkedIn page
By virtue of these qualities, you will gain an advantage over your competitors when it comes to grants, jobs, and even postdoctoral programs.
It helps you make a good impression
As a student, you primarily have to communicate with professors, fellow students, researchers, and potential employers. Your signature is the very last thing that your readers see in your email. If your otherwise professional email ends on a distractingly casual note, then it is obviously going to dampen the effect of your message.
Thus, it is crucial for you to pay attention to this aspect of your email. Think of your email signature as the digital world’s equivalent to concluding an introduction with a charming smile and courteous handshake. By using it to conclude your emails in a professional manner, you can effectively build professional relationships with other people.
You can use it to increase your credibility
If you have achieved something great recently (such as an award), then you can take the opportunity to mention it in your email signature. Similarly, if you’ve got any piece of professional content that you are proud of, such as a research project, then you can include a link to the same in your email signature.
These are forms of social proof that you can use to impress your reader and get a significant edge over your competitors. Do ensure, however, that it does not overwrite the other important elements in your signature.
You will be able to avoid embarrassing typos
Even though typos are unintentional, they can leave a bad taste in the mouth of your readers. Let’s face it – we’re all under stress when applying for a high-stakes job or a colossal grant, and we commonly tend to make mistakes when stressed. If you have a default email signature, then you will be able to avoid any embarrassing typos that may find their way into the bottom of your email.
What should one include in a proper email signature?
People usually have a good idea of what to include in a standard business email signature. However, they are often clueless when it comes to creating, let’s say, a college student email signature. Fortunately, the process of creating a professional student email signature isn’t all that complicated.
Typically, a good student email signature (regardless of your level of education) usually includes the following elements:
- Your full name, including your surname
- Your title and/or major
- Your higher education institution and/or department
- The company you work for
- Your contact information (such as an email address and/or a phone number)
- Links to your portfolio, LinkedIn page, or other relevant websites
- Your city (optional)
- Your pronouns (optional)
- A professional logo, picture, and/or crest (if available)
- Any notable achievement or award (optional)
Apart from this, you should try checking whether your college or university has any particular guidelines for creating email signatures. You don’t usually need to make too much effort; a simple Google search should suffice in most cases. If you discover any recommended practices for your institution, then you should certainly follow them (especially if you are a graduate student).
Keep in mind that your signature needs to be simple and easily skimmed. You must do your best to keep the word count to an absolute minimum, preferably no more than four to six lines (including your contact information).
What is meant by a “title” here?
Your title refers to your present status or role in your organization or institute. For example, you could be an undergraduate student, PhD candidate, and so on. You can also use your title as an opportunity to highlight any student organization or project that you lead. Think about your contributions to your company or university, and whether they are in line with the purpose of your email.
Is it alright to include a nickname?
If you are usually addressed by a nickname instead of your full legal name, then you may include it in your professional email signature. However, you should obviously ensure that your nickname is professional. Also, the reader should be able to easily access your portfolio or key professional profiles by running a Google search for the name you provide.
Why is it important to include your email address in the signature?
You may find it absurd to include your email address in your signature when you’re already using it to send the message. However, if your message is forwarded to someone else, then you need to ensure that it does not get lost in the email chain and your readers locate your contact information easily. For that purpose, it is important to clearly mention your email address in the message itself.
Tips for creating a good email signature
We’ve now discussed in-depth the numerous benefits and key elements of a professional student email signature. The obvious question that now arises is – how do you actually create one? Although there are plenty of applications available for generating email signatures, I recommend crafting one yourself.
For this purpose, I recommend you to do the following:
- Use only one font type and one to three colors.
- Make sure you consider the psychological impact of the colors you choose.
- Use a professional headshot, logo, or crest to create visual interest in your reader.
- Compress your image files to help them load easily.
- Position your portfolio, project, and/or relevant links along the edge or bottom of your signature.
- Optimize your signature for desktop and mobile devices.
- Separate information using bars, columns, or other design elements.
There are also certain things you need to avoid, such as:
- Extending your signature beyond four to six lines.
- Using clashing colors or more than three colors.
- Using blurry, large, or stretched images.
- Linking to unprofessional or personal profiles.
Websites that can help you Create Email Signature
There are hundreds of websites that can help you create email signatures, a few of which include:
A good email signature can help you, the student, greatly increase the chances of your efforts bearing fruit. A signature that leaves a lasting impact on your readers is the simplest and most effective method of convincing them that you are a deserving candidate and superior to others in the race. By following the advice given above, you can make your academic career flourish magnificently.