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Listing Your Degrees in Signature Files

A site visitor writes:

Is it customary to put the college degree you’ve earned in your signature block? For example, John Doe, MBA…or something to that effect?

You can do that — of course, only if you really have earned an MBA. I mention this because over the years I have actually busted folks with phony credentials!

What is Proper in a Signature File?

That is probably the better question to ask. Signature files provide a brief identification of who you are, and in some cases; your credentials. If apropos and listing the credentials makes sense.

As an example, if I were to have a EE engineering degree, listing that in all my emails wouldn’t make sense being I currently help folks succeed online. While the engineering degree may have applied in my previous life — it doesn’t presently. So I would just look like I was showing off or being a smarty pants.

In the case of having tons of credentials and alphabet soup that you can list in your signature file, restrain from doing so. It is best to only list the primary most applicable degree and point to your website for more information about you, your entire education and accomplishments. This approach helps you to avoid being perceived as egotistical.

After the Initial Intro, Drop the Degrees

Once communications are ongoing and less formal, you can remove all that alphabet soup from your sig file entirely. Moving to a more relaxed and casual tone as guided by how your contacts respond it a great way to be more approachable and humanize our email communications.

Remember, you can have as many sig files as you desire with different levels of formality and information. No need to keep pushing that you have a degree once folks know (and probably don’t care).

You can establish a collection of signature files based on the type of person or market you are communicating with at that particular time. Check out my article on the Dos and Don’ts of Signature File Use for more tips!

Have a question you would like to see me cover here on my blog? Let me know here!

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