This may be a bit off topic, but I feel the need to rant today.
What on earth are some people thinking with the signature lines in their E-mails? There are a few things in particular that bug me. Hear me out:
Quotes - I have no problem with including quotes in your signature. In fact, a nice line from Benjamin Franklin or Albert Einstein never hurt anyone. I do insist, however, that you avoid the following:
- Quoting Yourself - I'm sure you have some very worthwhile, interesting things to say, but this is not the place to say it. You just end up looking pretentious and/or foolish.
- Quoting Out of Context - That quote may sound nice as a one-liner, but if you put it back into the original context and it means something entirely different... well, that's a whole other story. Someone somewhere will know the line in its original context - hopefully it's not a potential employer.
- Quoting Religious or Political Figures - This is a no brainer, and yet it still pops up every so often.
- Inappropriate Quotes - There's nothing wrong with a life-affirming motto or quote... as long as it follows the norms of society. I realize you're expressing your individuality, but when your quote is a little out there it won't necessarily scream "fit" to potential employers or colleagues.
Closing Lines in the Signature - This may just be me (feel free to say so if it is), but when it's obvious that someone has their closing line ("Sincerely, Dave" or "Thank you" or simply "-Dave") already written in their signature, it takes something away from the personal nature of the message. It's almost akin to stamping your name at the end of a hand-written letter, rather than taking 3 seconds to write your signature. Granted, if you're careful, it's not always obvious. But if your signature is in a different font, color, etc., it's tell-tale. Even with the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets, where typing can be a little bit more of a pain, it still reads poorly in my mind. Maybe I'm just old fashioned.
Images and Backgrounds - An institutional logo can look professional, but you may want to rethink any more than that. An image in your signature that says "Thank you" drawn on a bed of roses (or anything that includes a smiley face for that matter) is not cool. Speaking of images, please never include a background image on your E-mails. Oh, your E-mail looks like it's written on loose-leaf paper - that's cute, I guess, but it's not very professional. Plus, when I reply to the message and am forced to write on that same background... ugh.
Anything that bothers you?