Earning an MBA is a milestone in your professional career. An MBA opens a world of possibilities in regards to job opportunities and promotions. Since you have earned an MBA, you might want to add those three letters after your name in an email signature of a business card. However, there are some occasions where it is appropriate to add the word MBA after your name and some other where it is not recommended. This article will go over best practices for many different cases. Generally, you want to find a middle ground: avoid underselling yourself, but also avoid making it seem like you are bragging or implying than a Master’s degree is required.
How to Add MBA After Your Name
But, before we get into the details…how do you add the word MBA to your signature? First, type your name as usual. Immediately after, add a comma, space, and the word “MBA” Here is an example, “John Johnson, MBA”.
As part of your MBA, you might have also completed a concentration or emphasis such as Marketing, Operations, or Human Resources. Some professionals complete multiple concentrations during their MBA program. In general, you should not list the concentration details after your name. Stating MBA will suffice.
Also, there are many different types of MBA programs. For example, there are executive MBAs, online MBAs, Internationational MBAs, and standard MBA programs. And the details and structure of each program type vary across institutions. As a general rule, there is no need to describe the details of your degree (unless it is a resume); the word MBA is enough.
When to Add MBA After Your Name
Make sure you highlight your academic achievements in your resume, especially your MBA. This is the most crucial time when you should emphasize the word MBA. Since you are job searching or at an interview, you must always try to improve the recruiter and earn the position.
Conference Speaker Events
Conference speakers or panel discussions are the main highlights in conferences. If you have been invited as a guest speaker, you can include MBA as part of your signature. If you are not sure, other speakers are adding title information after their name, feel free to ask the event organizer.
It can be useful for attendees to learn about your academic background before they attend a talk. Then, they can have a better idea of the theme of your presentation. And will be more likely to ask you questions related to the business aspect of your talk.
LinkedIn is the most popular social media site for professional development. The site gives you many options to customize your resume page and add a lot more information than a standard printed resume. It is common for professionals to add the word MBA after their name on LinkedIn. In the end, the site is meant to highlight your academic achievements, help you get jobs, and get connected with other professionals. LinkedIn has multiple articles and resources regarding best practices for your signature and the title of your resume. Feel free to explore LinkedIn for more information.
Follow Social Norms
Some companies follow standardized email signature templates. Such signatures might include a degree of education or certification. If your company follows such a social norm, I would suggest complying. In many cases, they do it to build morale or to show prospective clients the varied qualifications of the team. It won’t hurt you if it is a common practice. Remember: when in doubt, follow the norm.
Own Business Card
As an entrepreneur, especially as a small business owner, it can be challenging to sell yourself to new clients. You can include MBA after your name in your business card when meeting new clients. I would not recommend using them daily, just on those occasions. When you have already built a relationship with a client, there is no need to remind them about your qualifications continually.
When NOT to Add MBA After Your Name
Many studies have shown that the average person receives over 100 work emails every single day. We are constantly exchanging emails, as most communication is virtual nowadays. There is no need to add MBA after your email signature. It clutters the email, and in almost all email exchanges, the recipient is not currently interested in your academic achievements. Therefore, you won’t gain anything from adding this information to your signature.
Again, Follow Social Norms
Similarly to the item described in the previous section: when in doubt, follow social norms. Observe your colleagues’ interactions when starting a new job and learn about their culture. For example, in universities, professors are used to listing their degree on their signature. However, in most cases, it is only true for Ph.D., MD, and JD degrees. Therefore, there is no need to list your MBA title.
As Part of An Introduction
There is no need to state your MBA degree when introducing yourself to someone. Sometimes we hear medical professionals saying their title because medical professions require a license to practice. Doctors follow the procedure to make you feel safe and in good hands. An MBA does not require a license to practice, and for that reason, there is no need to state it. If you want to impress someone with your academic achievements, you could stir the conversation in that direction. But remember to do it subtly and seamlessly.
Do not add multiple degrees in a business card or an email signature (unless it is required for your business). It will look clutter, and you will be sending the wrong message. Do not overstate all your qualifications every time you get a chance. Instead, focus on highlighting the appropriate skills. For example, if you completed an MBA and also a Ph.D., you would most likely want to highlight your doctorate. Ph.D. programs are a lot more demanding and time-consuming than an MBA.
Unclear territory: to add of not to add MBA after your name
As a young professional with an MBA sometimes, I struggle to sell myself for management positions. Even though I had the qualifications, supervisors were usually looking for senior members of the group and wouldn’t pay attention to junior talent. Recruiters throw away resumes with recent graduation dates, and sometimes they do not realize those candidates have worked through multiple degrees and have practical experience. Or, even worst, sometimes robots scan your resume automatically. In cases where you need to sell yourself for a promotion or a project, you could consider adding “MBA” after your name. Just make sure you don’t overdo it.