Please, oh please, no StrengthsFinder in your email signature

by: Joanne Meehl

Today I received an email from a job hunter who had a question about an upcoming event, which I answered. She signed off with:

Leah Smithsen
Strengths Finder: Learner, Connector, Includer, Arranger, Responsibility

That is not a good email signature. A signature -- that info beneath your name that gives us some branding in your title or career area, as well as your phone number, email address, LinkedIn address, is one of the simplest marketing tools to create for yourself. But it's awful how many people don't do it right.

Take, for example, the one above. Never mind that I think the StrengthsFinder "test" is the unbearable lite-ness of being and by itself does not help someone advance their career or job search one iota. (So a person finds out they are a Learner, Connector, etc etc. So what? Instead, tell me success stories that show how being a Connector is beneficial to others in some way; give me substance, not fluff.) This info does not belong in a signature, it belongs -- if you must insist on using it -- in your Linkedin profile.

And don't include your MBTI type or any test results of any kind. ?Or your home address. Or your family phone number or fax number, just your cell phone number. Your signature contains your contact info and some branding info, that's it.

What makes much more sense to the recipient is this:

Leah Smithsen
Project Manager - Manufacturing Operations
708.567.8910
L.Smithson@whatevermail.com
www.LinkedIn.com/in/LeahSmithsen

Why should all that info be there? So that we quickly know something about Leah, and know how we can reach Leah.

Let's take a look at another one:

John P. Crawford
Controller | Finance Director | Interim CFO
567.321.4567
LinkedIn.com/in/JPCrawford

What's wrong with this one?

There's no email address.

Why should you include an email address when, frankly, it's at the END of an email message?

So that your contacts can copy the whole thing and save it in their phones/iPad/computer. You don't want to force them to look up your email address at the top of your email and copy it separately, do you, when simply including it in your signature makes it SO much easier for them to have it? I didn't think so.

My signature --

is enormous because I'm in business and have numerous ways you can make contact with me, and I want to include them all. See the image above. But that's not as necessary for you. Just include the basics.

So make your email signature count. AND make it easy to get your contact info from it.

_____________________________________________

Need a sounding board during your search? Joanne can work with you on that. Contact her today.

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