Twitter has shown a lot of chatter recently about email signatures for graduate students. Understandably, they want their signature to stand out, but they don’t have a job, so they can’t boast a title. What options are there?
If you are a graduate student, we recommend limiting your email signature to data that cannot be discriminatory to HR departments. We recommend the following format:
email@example.com +1 (xxx) xxx-xxxx
So that’s it? Just a name, number, email, and perhaps a blog or website? Yes, that’s it. Believe it or not, this has the benefit that you won’t have to update it at any time, unless you change your personal phone or email. You can leave this signature in your personal email and you’ll be set for an indefinite amount of time.
Make sure that your email signature is professional. For example, Cr4zyCatB0y@gmail.com is probably not the best email address you can hand out. Memorable, for sure, but really? We recommend using gmail.com and outlook.com over hotmail and aol. Many companies are using Google Docs, so Gmail is one of the most professional looking amateur emails.
One workaround is to use your school’s email address. If your employer reads firstname.lastname@example.org, they know you’re attending or have attended Harvard before opening any of your attachments. See how your school ranks in your industry and profession to determine whether this is worth doing. If you went to a school that didn’t rank well, but you have great items to point to, then you are better off with a Gmail address.