You’re working on (or should be) connecting with your network to uncover job leads and the hiring decision makers at your target companies with whom you need to connect. You’ll be sending them your career marketing documents – resume, biography, etc.
More than likely, you’ll communicate through email, not snail mail, and attach digital versions of your documents.
How do you sign your email messages – with just your name and phone number?
Email signatures are one piece in your brand communications plan – a golden opportunity to reinforce your executive brand and further market your unique ROI value to target employers.
Take the time to put together an email signature that will leave a lasting impression and also lead people to all the on-brand information they’ll need to know about you.
It’s fairly easy to configure your email account with an automatic signature for outgoing messages. Once you’ve created one, you can easily insert your signature or not, or adjust it, depending upon the recipient.
WiseStamp is a terrific new tool to create and give visual appeal to your email signature. According to the site:
Email Apps enable you to easily customize your email signatures with your personal social profiles and allows you to add to each outgoing email dynamic content such as your latest eBay item, recent blog post, your latest tweet or a cause to promote. The recipients of your email will see the updated content of the Email App and will be able to also interact with it directly from the email (e.g. retweet or follow in the Twitter App or buy in the eBay App).
WiseStamp integrates with these Webmail services: Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, AOL, and currently supports Firefox, Chrome, Thunderbird, Flock and Safari.
When creating your signature, assume that the email recipient will know nothing about you, but will want to know about you. Keep it brand-evident and on-point – don’t bog them down with clutter and an overlong laundry list.
Definitely do the following to brand your email signature:
Use your full name, not a nickname. Even if you know the recipient well, your email may be forwarded to someone else who will have no idea who “Bobby” is.
Include your current title and employer. If you’re not employed, include your professional title, such as “Global Business Operations Leader” or “Senior Turnaround Management Executive”.
Give them the best phone number to reach you anytime. Don’t confuse with several numbers. Your cell phone is probably best to avoid having someone at work, or someone you’d rather not, intercept the call.
Send a clear value message with an abbreviated version (1-2 lines) of your executive brand positioning statement. I’m assuming that, if you’re sending out resumes to people, you’ve already worked on your brand, and can create a short brand tagline that showcases your strengths while differentiating the value you offer over your competition in the job market. Make your tagline, and therefore you, memorable.
Use your personal email address, not your work email. For that matter, don’t use your work computer either, for job search or any personal business. If you’re emailing using the company network – even if you use your personal Gmail account – your employer can track your activity.
Include a link to your personal blog or website “About” page, if you have one, leading your email recipient to your whole brand picture.
Include a link to your LinkedIn profile.
Include a link to your Google Profile, VisualCV or About.me profile. Any of these can stand in as your brand hub, if you don’t have a website.
Include links to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, if you’re active there.
You may also want to include the following in your email signature, especially if you don’t have some of the above essentials:
- Relevant certifications and credentials
- A recent noteworthy publication of yours (book, e-book, white paper, etc.)
- A link to a professional video of you.
Although I really like WiseStamp, at this time it doesn’t support all email services and web browsers. Using it, or other email apps, could compromise the appearance and functionality of your email signature on the receiving end.
It’s probably best to stick with plain text without special characters, to be sure everything will appear at the receiving end, just as you sent it. Only use what’s on your keyboard, such as pipes ( | ) or colons ( :: ), to separate the text, and tildes ( ~ ), hyphens ( – ), or asterisks ( * ) for bullets.
Write out URLs instead of using hyperlinks. They may not show up in your recipients’ email message.
Skip your home snail mail address. You don’t want security-sensitive information floating around out there.
Avoid including a legal disclaimer notice, unless you’re required to for some reason.
An expanded, branded email signature will mark you as up-to-date and savvy to the new world of work. It will help decision makers vetting candidates like you learn what differentiates the value you offer over others.
Design your signature to resonate with your target audience and entice them to want to open your attached career documents and consider you.
photo by Sean MacEntee