Ever since emails first came to use, people began signing them the same way they would sign regular letters. Over time, more information was added to this post-content section of an email.

Except for regular information such as the company name, personal information, phone number etc. many people nowadays include Facebook and Twitter links to their pages and encourage addressees to follow them.

I have noticed that just as other people use this way of “advertising” their profiles in personal emails in order to get more followers or to connect to their friends, as an engineer, I could use this same principle of advertising to provide the addressee (hopefully being a potential business partner) with links to my website and more significantly to my portfolio.

Web developers and web designers could use signatures in this useful way and add links to their portfolio or their websites, if the website includes a portfolio of their work. Personally, I think that it is very important to understand this and to take advantage of that small portion of each and every professional email we send.

Of course, this does not mean that we should include signatures in every email we send. I add a signature to the first email of every new conversation and then put short signatures (usually just my name in the last line) in every other message in that conversation.

Now, why I think that adding a link to a developer’s portfolio is important and when it is a good idea and when it is not?

Most of my work comes from people who have heard about me via recommendations and those who recommend me often give my email or phone number. Of course, there are some people who have recommend me to a friend or a business partner, but friend or partner never got around to call. It could be because that person wanted to see my work before contacting me, but there was no way to do that without knowing the link to my portfolio. There may be other reasons, but still, when contacting other people and friends it is a good idea to give useful business information in your email so that they might, when asked about you one day, know where to find the most useful link and give it to your potential business contact. Think about this and revise your email signatures.