The best examples of email signatures for graduate students

In the digital age, your email signature is more than just a formality; it’s a part of your personal brand.

For graduate students, it serves as a concise snapshot of their academic identity and can leave a lasting impression on recipients.

This guide explores the importance of a well-crafted email signature for graduate students.

It outlines:

  • what information to include,
  • shares design tips for readability, and
  • demonstrates how to add a personal touch with a statement of purpose.

From practical steps on setting up signatures in popular platforms like Outlook and Gmail, to leveraging resources like Canva for design, we have you covered.

By the end of this guide, you’ll know how to construct a professional email signature that effectively communicates your academic identity and bolsters your digital presence.

What to include in your graduate email signature

Sure, here’s a suggestion for what graduate students could include in their email signatures:

Full nameIt’s important to include your full name in your email signature.
Current positionDescribe your current role. This could be “Graduate student” or the specific program you are enrolled in, like “MBA student” or “Master’s student in Computer Science”.
University name, Department, or research groupMention the name of your university, your department, and/or the research group if applicable. This lends credibility and context to your email.
Contact informationInclude professional contact information Include your email address, LinkedIn profile, or phone number if appropriate.
LogoIf permissible, include the logo of your university in your email signature. This could vary based on the university’s policies.
Preferred pronouns (optional)If you wish, you can include your preferred pronouns. This is a growing trend and promotes inclusivity.
Professional and academic linksIf you have a professional online presence (like a LinkedIn profile) or an academic profile (such as on ResearchGate or Google Scholar), including links can be beneficial. This could also be an online portfolio, if relevant to your field.
Graduate program or advisor (optional)It might be useful to mention your graduate program or even your advisor’s name, especially if they are well-known in your field. This information provides more context about your academic pursuits.
Headshot (optional)It’s not common to include a headshot in an email signature for graduates but if you want to it wouldn’t be frowned upon. 

Remember, every university or institution may have different guidelines or rules about what should be included in a student email signature, so always check those first.

Often they may have their own template for you to use. 

Design of your PhD student email signature – a simple template

The design of your email signature should be kept as simple as possible.

Before using any colours first you must consider the layout of your email signature.

The easiest thing to do is to list your details one after another on separate lines. Using simple symbols and punctuation can help people navigate your email signature easily.

For example, you can use ‘|’ to separate information in your email signature.

Here is an example of my very simple email signature that you can build from:

Andy Stapleton, MChem

PhD Student | Department of Physical Sciences | Flinders University

email: [email protected] | tel: +61 8 82017978 | ORCID ID | LinkedIn

This is a really simple way of providing a quick summary of your academic research and contact information.

Also, using columns and colours can start to draw your eye to the important components of your PhD student email signature.

My top secret weapon: Including a clear and concise statement of purpose

To craft the ideal graduate student email signature, consider integrating a brief statement of purpose. This could offer insight into your areas of focus, the skills you’re honing, and the practical implications of your studies.

The formula for drafting your statement is:

the target audience you benefit + the outcomes you help them accomplish + your method

Let’s delve into each of these components.

1. The audience you benefit

As a graduate student, your studies and potential research are aimed at benefiting certain sectors, fields, or demographics.

Examples of target beneficiaries:

  • Industries – Advancing the tech industry, assisting the finance sector, etc.
  • Specific roles or demographics – Empowering educators, aiding environmental activists, supporting software engineers, etc.
  • Larger-scale implications – Promoting sustainability, fostering innovation, advancing societal understanding, etc.

Initiating your statement with your target audience immediately clarifies who stands to gain the most from your work.

2. The outcomes you assist with

Your statement should encapsulate what you’re helping your target audience achieve. These could be potential outcomes of your studies and provide compelling reasons why your work matters.

Examples include:

  • … Facilitating more effective online learning…
  • … Innovating AI technology…
  • … Streamlining supply chain management…
  • … Enhancing cybersecurity measures…
  • … Promoting mental health awareness…

This element in your statement enables people to comprehend the impact and value of your academic pursuit.

3. Your method

Lastly, shed light on your approach or specific skills. This offers an insight into your expertise and your unique edge.

Examples include:

  • … Through advanced machine learning techniques.
  • … By exploring interdisciplinary solutions.
  • … Through quantitative data analysis.
  • … By conducting extensive field research.

This part helps people gauge your abilities and whether your particular skill set is relevant to their interests, potentially spurring future collaborations or inquiries.

4. Pulling it all together

Combine these three parts to craft your comprehensive statement, like:

  • Advancing the tech industry by innovating AI technology through advanced machine-learning techniques
  • Assisting educators by facilitating more effective online learning through the exploration of interdisciplinary solutions
  • Promoting sustainability by streamlining supply chain management through quantitative data analysis

Including this statement in your graduate student email signature can enhance your recipient’s understanding of your value, which could increase their likelihood of further engagement or queries about your skills and work.

An example of a graduate student email signature might resemble the following:

Andy Stapleton MChem

Graduate Student | Department of Physical Sciences | Flinders University

Producing cost-effective solar cells using nanotechnology and solar paint.

email: [email protected] | tel: +61 8 82017978 | ORCID ID | LinkedIn

The objective of a Graduate Student Email Signature 

After developing your graduate student email signature, it’s vital to evaluate its effectiveness.

Does it offer a clear, quick overview? Does it foster a sense of credibility for the recipient? Does it adequately communicate your area of focus? And does it offer sufficient details for the recipient to reach out to you across multiple platforms?

An email signature’s goal is to aid in communication, and here are the objectives it should fulfill as a graduate student.

1. Identify Yourself 

Unquestionably, the primary role of a graduate student email signature is to introduce the sender of the email.

Your name should be among the most prominent elements in the email signature. You could emphasize it by using boldface type or a different color.

2. Foster Credibility

Building credibility with the recipient is another critical aspect of an effective email signature.

At a glance, the recipient should be able to discern your university affiliation, your field of study, and any supporting details such as your LinkedIn profile or other academic links.

If your email is forwarded, you want the next reader to quickly understand that you possess the necessary expertise to command attention.

Adhering to your university’s style guide is also an essential way to ensure your email signature aligns with your peers.

Consider using the colors specified in your university’s style guide to align your email signature with your institution’s branding.

3. Share Contact Details

Another key purpose of a graduate student email signature is to offer contact information for further correspondence.

Sometimes, people prefer to shift their conversations to other platforms, so consider including professional social media platforms like LinkedIn or academic portals like ResearchGate.

Avoid placing the full URLs in your email signature.

A preferable way to incorporate your contact details is to embed an icon into the signature and hyperlink it to the appropriate platform.

Alternatively, you could use a word with a hyperlink. In your email, prefixing “mailto:” before your email address allows the recipient to email you instantly. For example, the hyperlink could be mailto:[email protected].

You might also consider including a link to a concise academic website detailing your research. Creating a personal academic website can be simple and quick. Alternatively, you could link to your research group’s, advisor’s, or department’s website.

A personal academic website is an ideal way to provide a brief overview of your work, publications, outputs, and expertise in one accessible location.

4. Invite Further Exploration 

Including a statement of purpose can stimulate recipients’ interest in learning more about you and your studies.

One of the overlooked potential uses of a graduate student email signature is to provide the recipient with a brief overview of your studies or research.

By using the statement of purpose approach mentioned earlier, you can inspire recipients of your email to explore your work and skills further.

This is an excellent way to begin constructing your personal brand.

5. Offer Direct Links 

An email signature is an ideal location to incorporate links to your academic accomplishments or expertise.

Don’t inundate your recipient with too many links. Alternatively, you could use a link aggregator service like Linktree for a single button in your email signature, which leads to all the information about you.

Creating a graduate student email

Creating a Graduate Email Signature in OutlookCreating a Graduate Email Signature in Gmail
1. Click on ‘settings’ in the top right corner.1. Click on ‘settings’ in the top right corner.
2. Click on ‘all settings’ and a popup window will appear.2. Click on ‘see all settings’.
3. Navigate to ‘compose and reply’.3. Scroll down until you see ‘signature’.
4. In the provided field, create your email signature. It offers various editing tools, similar to a Microsoft Word document. You can bold, italicize, underline text, change colors, insert pictures, create links, and arrange the content alignment, etc.4. Click on ‘create new’.
5. In the designated field, create your email signature using the editing options provided, including different fonts, colors, links, images, etc.

One great resource for email signature design is Canva.

You can browse many options until you find one that stands out to you:

And the best thing is that you can do this completely free!

Wrapping up – a professional email signature for graduate students

In summary, a well-crafted email signature is an indispensable tool for graduate students navigating the digital realm.

It acts as a virtual handshake, offering a snapshot of your academic identity, and bolstering your digital presence.

By incorporating elements such as a clear statement of purpose, necessary contact information, and professional and academic links, your email signature can enhance communication, foster credibility, and pique the interest of the recipients.

Use platforms like Outlook, Gmail, and design resources like Canva to bring your signature to life.

Always remember, the email signature is your chance to leave a lasting impression on the reader. So, invest some time to create a professional, informative, and engaging email signature that aligns with your personal brand and academic pursuits.

This digital handshake could open the door to new opportunities and connections in your graduate journey and beyond.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.