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Creating a unique signature for your Outlook email client can make a lasting impression on your customers and even your boss. In this day and age, it’s so important to appear professional. Regardless of what field you’re in, you can create your own brand by taking a few extra steps to ensure that when people think of you, they envision a successful, highly skilled person who is moving up the ladder with confidence.

Though these may seem like lofty goals, there are several ways to accomplish this.

Your Business Photo

You need a good business photo of yourself or an appropriate avatar. Never use a personal photo of yourself with kids, pets, your significant other etc. Avoid photos where you’re in shorts on vacation and that sort of thing. Those types of photos can send the wrong message. Take the extra step of having a headshot done by a pro.

Add a Unique Signature

Once you get your photo done, the next step is to create a great signature for all your emails. Outlook makes it easy to add or modify your personal email signature. Before you begin, be sure to check with your supervisor and see whether your company has specific guidelines for setting up signatures. Some companies do this in order to appear consistent and more professional to their clients.

If your company doesn’t specify a precise way to create a signature, then simply use your own best judgement. Of course, there are plenty of resources online that can give you some good tips about creating an email signature that will leave a lasting impression.

Let’s take a look at how to create a signature in Outlook.

Begin by opening Outlook, then choose File.

Then choose Options.

Click on Mail.

In the section where it says Create or Modify signatures for Messages, click on Signatures, which is located to the right.

Since we want to create a new signature, click on the New button.

Type in a name for your signature.

Don’t get fancy here. Just name it something simple like your name.

Now begin typing your name and title as you want it to appear. Once you’re finished, you can change the fonts and colors simply by highlighting the text, then selecting a different font style, size, or color. You can experiment with all the combinations until you find something that expresses your true personality. You can also add your company logo if you like.

Once you’re satisfied, click OK and return to your Outlook program.

Remember that it’s fairly easy to modify your signature. Try using the one you’ve created for a week and see what feedback you get. You might decide on a different color or you could change up the fonts and sizes.

Click New Email and you’ll see your new signature at the bottom of your email.

Get Creative!

Sometimes people change the font styles and colors based on the season. For Fall, you might use browns and golds. For Christmas, you might use red and green. People often add a wreath or Christmas message to their signature during the Christmas season. This is a good way to ensure that when people view your signature, they can tell that you’re a creative and thoughtful person who takes the time to do a job right.

Important note: If you have a Microsoft Office 365 account, and you use Outlook and Outlook on the Web or Outlook on the Web for Business, it’s necessary to create a signature for both products.

Include Hyperlinks to Social Media

Some people include links to their business (or personal) Twitter and Facebook accounts. To do this, you’ll need a good photo of the Facebook and Twitter logos on your hard drive. Simply right-click on each logo, one at a time, then choose “Save as picture.” Give the photo a unique name and take note of where you’re saving it. Most people will want to save these to their “Pictures” folder.

You’ll also need the Web address to each social media account. You could store these in a temporary word file or just wait until you need each one, then go to the social media account and click in the browser line to copy the URL.

Once you’re ready to add these social media icons to your signature, go to File > Options. Click on Mail. In the section where it says Create or Modify signatures, choose Modify. Go to the end of your unique signature, then press Enter to get down to a new line. Now go to your pictures folder where you saved the Twitter and Facebook icons and download each one at a time. Now, right click on each picture and choose Insert > Hyperlink. Paste the link for each in the Insert Hyperlink box. Click Save and exit.

If you want to test this out to make sure you did everything correctly, click on New Message to open up a new blank message in Outlook. You should be able to view the Facebook and Twitter logos just below your unique signature. Try clicking on each one. If you’ve set everything up correctly, a new page will open that goes out to your Twitter or Facebook account.

Wrap Up

There are lots of little things we can all do to set ourselves apart from others. Remember that you are your own unique brand and as such, you need to determine exactly how you want your friends and colleagues to think of you. Once you’ve established yourself in the professional world, you’ll find that people are more willing to trust your brand and you may get promotions and raises quicker than those who don’t go the extra mile.