When you're applying for a job or following up with a potential client, each of these communications, for the most part, are starting and happening through email.
In New York City I worked in software sales for an education technology startup. Every time we’d send out a new email marketing campaign or follow up with clients, we tried our best to tweak something new in our emails to test if we’d get a response from our prospect.
Over the years, I've learned a ton about grabbing someone's attention by trying new and different things with my Gmail signature. I've even had success actually converting people who view my email signature into blog readers, email list subscribers, clients, and more.
If you're using Gmail, here's where to edit your signature.
How to edit your Gmail signature
Click the gear sign, scroll down to settings, and at the bottom of the page you'll find the option to edit your signature.
Action step #1:
Before we get started, I want you to grab a piece of paper and a pen to brainstorm what you'll be writing in your signature.
What you'll need for your signature is:
- A photo of yourself : Do you have one? Does it need to be updated? If so, when will you take a new headshot?
- Your name and job title: What is your current job title? Does it accurately explain what you do? Will someone read this and understand what your job is? If not, tweak it.
- A few links to professional sites: What are your current professional or business goals? What can you link to support them?
- A unique sign off or next step: If you could give your audience, reader, or the person you're emailing one final note on the most important or impressive thing you're working on, what would it be?
We'll talk about each of these in detail later in this post. But for now, just brainstorm.
Insert a personal touch by adding a creative headshot to your Gmail signature
Two simple ways to crop your Gmail signature into your shape of choice
Once you know which headshot or photo it is that you’d like to use in your email signature, save it to one location. Use one of the following options to crop your photo into your shape of choice.
- Free web option: Luna Pic - I've used this option for years, it's super simple and delivers a high-quality photo.
- Free trial or paid option: Photoshop - You can also use Photoshop to crop your photos.
Save your Gmail signature photo like this
- Regardless of which way you decide to crop your photo, save or export as a GIF.
- Save your signature as your firstname-lastname.GIF
- Save your original Gmail signature photo it's full size, the cropped square version, and the circle or custom shaped version you choose all in one folder for easy access.
- Once ready, upload your photo like this: mail.google.com > click the settings gear > click Settings > scroll down until you see My Picture > upload your photo > scroll to the bottom and click Save changes.
How to change your Gmail photo
Click the gear sign, click the settings option in the menu, scroll down until you see "my photo."
Action step #2:
- Save your headshot to a central location.
- Crop your headshot in your photo editing software of choice.
- Upload your headshot to your signature and email client.
Tips for describing yourself and adding a title to your email signature
Adding your name to your signature
After you upload your photo to Gmail, click enter and add a new line to your signature. This is where I usually write my first and last name followed by my title.
Why you should add your title to your personal email signature
When I was first transitioning into remote work I applied for both marketing and customer services jobs. When replying and sending out each job application, I'd be sure to update my signature to reflect what type of work I was reflecting. In some emails, I'd sign off as a Marketing Associate (as I had this experience) and in others, I'd sign off as Customer Service Associate (as I also had experience working in customer service). I found it to be a little more tailored and polished when trying to land a new job or gig.
Also, remember to never be misleading or vague when it comes to your email signature, job title, and resume. This is about showcasing who you are to attract the opportunities that are right for you.
Action step #3:
- Write down what you do for a living or your current job title.
- Is this clear to the average person reading your email? If not, describe yourself better.
- Add your title to your signature.
Links to include in your Gmail signature
Here are a few options of what links to include in your email sign off
Keep in mind you shouldn't pick this at random, it should have some correlation to your business or personal goals.
How to add links to your Gmail signature
Click the gear sign, click settings, and scroll down to the signature box. Click the link option, enter a URL and click ok.
How to add links to your Gmail signature
- When ready go to: mail.google.com > click the settings gear > scroll down to the signature section > click the link button > add your URL of choice and click ok > scroll to the bottom and click Save changes.
Action step #4:
- Brainstorm what link you would like to link to on your email signature.
- Collect the URLs in one central location.
- Add your desired URLs to your email signature.
Creative ways to sign off your email signature
Why you shouldn't include a quote at the bottom of your email account and what to include instead
At the bottom of your Gmail signature, there's prime real estate that I don't want you to miss out on. It's what I call a mix between a sign-off and a PS on an email.
I like to use this area to shout out a current project I'm working on or draw attention to my next live webinar.
Here are a few ways to sign off of your email signature:
- Add a link to a lead magnet or free download
- Add a link to book a consultation call with you
- Add a link to your next webinar registration page
- Add a link to a recent blog you were featured in
- Add a link to your Calendly page
Action step #4:
- Brainstorm how you would like to sign off your email signature.
- Once you're ready, add a paragraph or new line underneath your email signature and add your sign off.
- Read over your signature for clarity and typos.
How to add a creative sign off to your signature
Final tips on email signatures
Switch up your email signature monthly
As your interests, goals, and experience change, so should your email signature. Now, you don't have to set an alarm to remind you to change your signature every month. But, whenever I have a new product launch or if I'm hosting a sale, I like to advertise this in my email signature. I do all of my business and networking online, so I do my best to capitalize on it.
Update your photo on your signature as you see fit
Personally, I like updating my professional photos as time changes or if I get a major haircut chance. For example, when I moved to LA, I cut my hair into a pixie. I quickly updated my professional and online dating photos (haha). It's just another place for me to be creative.
Show your personality in your email signature
It's a common misconception that one must be bland and stale when it comes to all things career-related. I personally have benefited from showing my personality online in professional spaces. At the end of the day, your personality is the only thing that sets you apart from everyone else that has the same credentials as you do.
Send a test email to make sure your signature works
Finally, before sending your first email with your new signature, send yourself or a friend a test email to see how your signature looks when receiving a message from you. Sometimes the formatting can get a little funky after making so many edits.
Action step #5:
- Play around with your email signature to see what works best for you.
- Have fun!
What are some unique tips for using your Gmail signature? Comment below.