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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Default Certs in email signature

    I wanted to know anyone's opinion on this topic. I had a colleague of mine that inserted his certifications in his email signature, it should look something like:

    John Doh
    System Administrator
    John Doh@company.com
    555-555-1212
    MCSE, MCITP:EA, Security+

    I have been in IT since 1998, and in my opinion I always felt that this was...I don't know if tacky is the right word, I can't even come up with the word, but it just seemed weird to me. Now if someone has a CCIE, or something like that I could maybe see having it in your email signature, other than that, I feel it is unnecessary. For this site, I can see people including their certifications because it goes with the entire purpose of the site, other than that, I think a standard Name, Title, Email, Phone number is all that is needed for an email signature. Unless you have a Ph.D

    What are your opinions?
    Last edited by DigitalZeroOne; 05-02-2011 at 08:20 PM.
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    I kind of feel the same way, I mean coworkers do it but I would never do it, I dont really like to brag what certs I have really, I consider them stepping stones to learning not to really brag to other business people
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  4. Senior Member chrisone's Avatar
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    #3
    If its for your own personal email then yes, especially if you are in the consulting business. Even then i would restrict it to professional or high end certs. If its for your work environment then i dont think its necessary to show off your credentials over and over again to the same people that already know your qualifications.
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  5. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #4
    Agreed, I don't see a need to include Certs in your professional email address. (Unless it is something along the level of CCIE/CISSP etc)
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  6. Cisco R00t Clan Member NOC-Ninja's Avatar
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    #5
    Our network architect and PM post certs in their email sig. Actually, people here post their degree if they have Masters or MBA or PHD. I also post mine but only the high level. It depend on your environment. Our IT is pretty chill over here. I think the person has the right to post it.

    Now its up to the other person on the other end to hate or not care. IMO Posting it doesnt make you cocky but proud of all your hard work.
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  7. He Hate Me Zartanasaurus's Avatar
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    #6
    It's usually pretty tacky for work emails, especially if you're the guy listing redundant certs like MCITP and all the individual MCTS designations that come with it.
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  8. Sith Lord SephStorm's Avatar
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    #7
    I personally disagree. I like to see them, when I see them in a coworker's email, and I have time to notice them, it gives me a little motivation, maybe sparks a desire in me to persue more studies. More importantly, if you recieve an email from a new guy from a different department, or just review an mail where you didnt look at who else was on it, you can see, "Hey, this guy has the same cert I'm working at! Maybe he can help me study, or act as a mentor!"

    I did this recently with the CEH, I saw some guys who had the CEH and contacted one of them. Unfortunately his was several years old, and he didnt feel comfortable with the new knwoledge, but he gave me some hint on study material.

    It also establishes a sense of trust that someone talking about a subject knows what they are talking about. If someone is giving you medical advice, you might like to know that they have a PHD in medicine. Same concept. If I email someone about a problem in W7, and they have an MCITP for W7, I expect them to have a deeper understanding than mine.
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  9. Alligator wrestler Moderator Plantwiz's Avatar
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    #8
    I'm of the opinion it is tacky to list certifications in one's signature. Then again, I'm not a fan of 'titles' either.

    To each his own, but I'm of the mindset every employee in an organization should be working for the same goal and success of the company as a whole. And each member should know the team well enough to handle any question...including getting people to the right person.

    So, yes, I think it looks tacky when an IT person lists all their certifications in their e-mail signature. Likewise, I think it limits the person. If they miss a certification or they honestly have experience in an area but never tested...they are now telling people they are not the best person to help them out.
    Plantwiz
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    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
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  10. DoWork
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    #9
    I can't remember the last time I had a signature that wasn't only on a forum. At work the only thing I think I would ever sport, ever would be VCDX, CCIE, MCA or MCM. Even then I don't think I would. I just sign my name.
    Last edited by QHalo; 05-03-2011 at 03:56 AM.
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  11. Self-Described Huguenot blargoe's Avatar
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    #10
    I think it's tacky, personally. MAYBE if I were an independent consultant, where I AM the company and need to convey my qualifications to potential customers by any means available. Even then, just the advanced certs.
    IT guy since 12/00

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  12. Artist's impression mikedisd2's Avatar
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    #11
    It's something that would make me size someone up. 'Aw nuts, he's got a VCP... least my biceps are bigger.. well, better defined anyway'.
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  13. Sith Lord SephStorm's Avatar
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    #12
    Sorry, but if your highest cert is an MCTS, but who am I to say it is not worth displaying.
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  14. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by mikedisd2 View Post
    It's something that would make me size someone up. 'Aw nuts, he's got a VCP... least my biceps are bigger.. well, better defined anyway'.
    Yea, but you can't size someone up based on certifications alone. I've seen a few people with certain certifications that.... well... let's just say I was surprised they had them.
    My Networking blog
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  15. Nidhoggr, the Net Serpent Claymoore's Avatar
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    #14
    It's a fine line. My company's standard signature format has a place for our certifications so I list them, but only the MCSE and MCITPs. Even then I list the EMA in general and not separately for 2007 and 2010.

    We have a guy who went crazy with the logo generator and has the logos for his MCITP and all his MCTS in his signature - that's going too far. I don't like the logos at all, but I got called out for not including the logos for the Sales Specialist certifications we were required to get. I shrunk them down (probably against some licensing agreement somewhere) so they were less obtrusive, but I think it's time to remove them. That panic has blown over and I should be able to ditch them without a practice manager squawking at me.
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  16. Senior Member rwmidl's Avatar
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    #15
    It boils down to personal preference and what the protocol is for where you work. Where I am, people list their certifications, but within reason (usually they list 2-3). Example, my sig I have CISSP, GCIH and MCSE:Security (I also have the GSEC but I opted to remove that one).
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  17. Senior Member
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    #16
    I've done it both ways, recently my company changed its policy to requiring our email signature be the PNG file of our business cards. Since my business cards list my top three certs in symbol form I now list my certs in my signature block. I am neutral on the topic, however when I have seen other people do it I do get an added sense of professionalism.
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  18. Senior Member
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    #17

    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the responses so far; I guess the main reason why I'm against listing certs in the email signature is because I don't really consider them as important as I once did. It does seem like bragging rights for some, or at least for some of the people that I have seen.

    I see people with certs left and right and it just does not seem to matter as much as experience (for the most part). I guess it depends on the environment.
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  19. Senior Member ccnxjr's Avatar
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    #18
    I suppose it just boils down to context.
    If your e-mailing a peer, or someone you work with, or for internal distribution it becomes unnecessary.
    However if your a contractor or e-mailing a client (with whome you are NOT on familiar terms) it could be beneficial.
    DEFINITELY post them on your resume!
    Try to be classy, if you have multiple certs use the higher ranking ones over the not so high ranking ones.
    ex: if you have a CCENT and CCNA , just use CCNA.
    You earned that cert as a benchmark of your knowledge.
    Unlike an MBA or PhD, IT Certs may fail to impress non-IT folk (considering they do expire, :P ).
    The more you dig into the details you realize that IT Certs are CREDENTIALS as opposed to TITLES.
    So they will add some weight to your *professional opinion* and *formally* define the level of expertise and/or limitation among other professionals.
    (granted, experience as well as the actual facts should also be considered).
    As techies I suppose we aren't as pretentious as people in other fields and we use certs as a form of self promotion (for internal competitive promotion, or small business marketing, or employment potential).
    If you do represent your company to the public (or clients), having your certs somewhere in your professional correspondence would be the professional thing to do (as well as removing them if they expire! read the logo agreements you signed :P ).
    echoing an earlier sentiment, if you are looking for dental treatment would go see Jesse? or Dr. Smith MD? or Dr. Klein DDS?
    (Jesse is really good, trust me!)

    Likewise, when you read a study guide for a certification test, how would you feel if the person who wrote the book didn't list his certs vs someone who did list certs?
    What if the person who didn't list certs listed an advanced degree?
    *Context* !

    As long as your not violating terms of use agreement for the credential, you'll be fine.
    Personally I don't see the need when you are in an informal environment.
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  20. Senior Member powerfool's Avatar
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    #19
    I currently don't post any certifications in my email. If someone is acting like a jerk and does put their cert in their email and I have the same cert or a related one, I may add it to a particular message just to subtly level the playing field. I have listed some in the past.

    If I were in a consulting environment where I worked for more than one client at a time (which could be reality soon), I would likely list relevant and ranking certs... but just in the most tasteful way.

    Powerfool, CISSP, CCSP (if it is a Cisco or Networking related thing).

    Powerfool, CISSP, MCSE Security (if it is a Microsoft related thing).

    Powerfool, CISSP, CEH (if it is strictly security related)

    It just depends.
    Last edited by powerfool; 05-04-2011 at 12:43 AM.
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  21. Senior Member MickQ's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by SephStorm View Post
    If someone is giving you medical advice, you might like to know that they have a PHD in medicine.
    I'd prefer if they had an MD

    Seriously though, I don't have any of my certs on my sig. Just the my name, my general roles (within 20 characters), company title, company name, address and phone numbers.

    I guess it really depends on the culture, your certs, and the company policy of who you're dealing with.
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  22. Senior Member jovan88's Avatar
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    #21
    most people I email wont have any idea what a CCNP or CCIP even is
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  23. Senior Member TheShadow's Avatar
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by MickQ View Post
    I'd prefer if they had an MD
    Generally someone that has a PhD in medicine also has an MD already, at least the two that gave me my lovely chest zipper several years ago.
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  24. Senior Member
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    #23
    Only when I'm dealing with someone when I need to be heavy handed. When I'm dealing with management at an external company and I put the professional level certs on my my sig when requesting a conference call or them to take action I usually get the response I want.
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  25. Senior Member MickQ's Avatar
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
    Generally someone that has a PhD in medicine also has an MD already, at least the two that gave me my lovely chest zipper several years ago.
    Touché. Good to see that you're still around after it.
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  26. Senior Member
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    #25
    Most people outside of IT will not know what a CCNP is. However, they will recognize the logo, especially if they are using a Cisco IP phone or something. That does bring non IT people some measure of comfort that they know you are trained in the products they use.
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