What your e-mail signature will not tell about you?

David Guetta

Founder and member of AEGEE-Kazantip*

Speaker of the Party Working Group

Active member of We-do-Nothing Commission

Editor-in-Chief of Monthly Party Newsletter

Member of EXIT** Committee

AEGEE/European Students’ Forum

Familiar signature, isn’t it? How many times it happened with you that reading the signature of the sender under e-mail, you already forgot which was the content of it and what sender initially wanted from you?

With me it happened few times. However, recently I received an e-mail from one AEGEE member, with excellent sense of humour, under which I saw the signature:

“_ _

Name Surname

to do: insert dozen lines of AEGEE title”

and I understood that this topic needs to be investigated as soon as possible with an urgent definition of diagnosis.

As most of my inbox emails are coming from AEGEE I decided that this is a perfect place for research!

Which situation in AEGEE we have with signatures? Figuratively, we can divide all AEGEE members into three groups: those who do not care about their e-mail signatures and put just name-surname in the best case; those who put in signature only necessary titles connected with the topic of the e-mail and recipient; and those who put there all possible titles (AEGEE + official job positions + all universities they studied in + position awarded after last Summer University in Riga etc.)

Spending hours and reading different theories about e-mail signatures I found out one of the most popular business theories which sounds like: “The more important person is, the shorter his e-mail signature”. Is it true? No idea, I never was emailing with a billionaire. However, both limit situations with an absence of e-mail signatures and with endless ones are not correct.

Let’s see first what is better NOT to do:

What to do if you want to destroy the impression about your e-mail and you as serious person:

  • include all your personal websites, blogs, Skype and Twitter names
  • write all positions and committees you were ever involved in
  • specify all universities you were ever studying in
  • write all possible ways to contact you (dozens of phone numbers, e-mails, your home address etc.)

If you anyway wrote everything above mentioned, but still the reader has last pieces of hope that you are an adequate person – write under your e-mail signature funny jokes or popular motivational quotes. This will kill this last hope once and forever.

Indeed, everything written in the previous paragraph rather says something about the absence of knowledge of simple business etiquette and your unprofessionalism, than how cool you are.

Now let’s try to answer the question “What should be put in your e-mail signature?”

There are existing few lines which are indeed very important to be included in your e-mail:

  • Your name and surname
  • Current position and company
  • Preferred way to contact you (one phone and one e-mail address)

Maximum one or two lines can be added here, but only if it is related to the recipient or topic of the e-mail. The fact that you are a member of all the Working Groups in AEGEE and projects is better not to specify as it shows more that you are showing up, than that you have magic skills to do everything in the world in 24 hours.

So, what is your e-mail signature? These are final words in your message giving the last impression about you. What to put there is always up to you, but writing your next e-mail ask yourself:  If reading your signature the recipient will still remember what you wrote in the beginning?

Written by Olga Iatsyna, AEGEE-Dnipropetrovsk

_ _ _ _ _ _

* Fake name of local dedicated to famous party festival Kazantip at Crimean seaside, Ukraine

** Famous EXIT party festival in Novi Sad, Serbia