At some point, well-meaning college career center advisors (like this one from the University of Georgia) suggested college graduates add a graduation date or year after their name in the email signature line. But these well-meaning advisors forgot to include the caveat of following industry norms. Unfortunately, this lapse means lots of recent and soon-to-be recent graduates look pretty stupid to some industry recruiters and leaders.
It’s vitally important that your signature line make you look professional, especially when you are job searching. Your resume might indicate you have relevant experience, but if you add a 2014 after your name (or worse, ’14) you just overshadowed all of your experience and instead told the recipient that you are a young, recent graduate.
The advice from the University of Georgia isn’t all bad, the suggestions include good ones such as including your full name, university, phone number and email address. However, adding the clubs you were involved in and the leadership roles you held are equally irrelevant after college (unless your research indicates a connection and you are targeting the recipient) and you should leave those out.
Another piece of advice? Do not include a quote in your signature line. It’s great to have a motto or a phrase that speaks to you, but you have no idea how the recipient may interpret your quote. You don’t want to be added to the circular file just because you included a quote from your favorite novel, that the recipient hated.