Love is in the air, but is it in your cover letter?
After you’ve written a couple of paragraphs about your work experience, skills, and enthusiasm for the job and company, it’s time to wrap things up. We’ve written about email sign-offs, but closing your cover letter comes with its own set of rules. Here are Grammarly’s best tips for signing off a letter to a potential employer.
Nobody wants to hire an employee with bad manners. Make sure to thank the reader for his or her time with a brief sentence. “Thank you for your time and consideration” is standard, but if that sounds too formal, try changing the wording to reflect the way you normally speak. The cover letter is a great place to let your personality shine, so adapt the language to suit your style.
Contact Information and Call to Action
Don’t make the hiring manager’s job any harder than it needs to be. Include your contact information in the header of your letter and toward the end of the text. You should also add a “call to action,” a marketing term for a message that prompts the reader to do something such as clicking a link, signing up for a newsletter, or buying a product. In this case, you want the hiring manager to offer you an interview.
Example: “Please feel free to contact me at [phone number] or [email address]. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”
If you’re feeling especially bold, flip the script! Tell the hiring manager that you’ll be in touch soon to follow up on your application — but be courteous and respectful of their time.
Choosing the Best Valediction
Most letters begin with some kind of salutation or greeting, whether it’s “Yo Homes” or “To Whom It May Concern.” The closing of your letter – formally known as a valediction – should mirror the tone of your opening salutation. The standard business letter etiquette dictates that you begin with “Dear [Mr./Ms. Manager],” and the most common closing is “Sincerely,” but that’s not your only option.
Thank You: A classic for a reason, you can’t go wrong with a simple expression of thanks.
Best/Kind Regards: A solid choice that conveys a warm, caring tone.
All the Best: A personal favorite, it subtly implies that the letter writer is the best. Not a bad subliminal message when you’re on the job hunt.
Respectfully: A little more reserved and formal than other choices, it’s a good choice for a more conservative hiring manager.
Cover letters are business documents, so you should avoid an overly friendly or familiar tone—even if you know the hiring manager personally. Obviously you wouldn’t sign off “Love,” but “Thanks” and “Cheers” are a little too casual for a cover letter. You should also steer clear of old-fashioned phrases like “Faithfully Yours.” According to Amy Levin-Epstein, writing for CBS MoneyWatch, you should “[c]hoose the sign-off that fits the industry — and your personality — the best.”
Remember, having all the right words won’t count for much if they’re misspelled or punctuated incorrectly. Grammar matters, so make sure you proofread multiple times. Read your work out loud, ask a friend, and run your work through a spelling and grammar checker before you send your letter.
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How to End a Letter (With Closing Examples)
How you end a business letter is important. Your letter closing needs to leave the reader with a positive impression of both you and the letter you have written. In closing your letter, it is important to use an appropriately respectful and professional word or phrase.
Most formal letter closing options are reserved but note that there are degrees of warmth and familiarity among the options.Your relationship with the person you're writing to will shape which closing you choose.
Read below to find out some of the most common closing options available, and get help finding out which ones are appropriate in which correspondence.
Letter Closing Examples
The following are letter closings that are appropriate for business and employment-related letters. Read below for information on when to use each of them.
Sincerely, Regards, Yours truly, and Yours sincerely - These are the simplest and most useful letter closings to use in a formal business setting.
These are appropriate in almost all instances and are excellent ways to close a cover letter or an inquiry.
Best regards, Cordially, and Yours respectfully - These letter closings fill the need for something slightly more personal. They are appropriate once you have some knowledge of the person to whom you are writing. You may have corresponded via email a few times, had a face-to-face or phone interview, or met at a networking event.
Warm regards, Best wishes, and With appreciation - These letter closings are also appropriate once you have some knowledge or connection to the person to whom you are writing. Because they can relate back to the content of the letter, they can give closure to the point of the letter. Only use these if they make sense with the content of your letter.
More Letter Closing Examples
When you're ending your letter, be sure to choose a letter closing that is appropriate to the topic of your letter and to your personal situation and relationship with the person you are writing to. Here are more examples to choose from.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter,
Thank you for your consideration,
Thank you for your recommendation,
Thank you for your time,
With deepest sympathy,
With sincere thanks,
Your help is greatly appreciated,
Capitalize the first word of your closing. If your closing is more than one word, capitalize the first word and use lower case for the other words.
Letter Closings to Avoid
There are certain closings that you want to avoid in any business letter. Most of these are simply too informal. Some examples of closings to avoid are listed below:
These are too informal, and some (such as “Love” and “XOXO”) implies a level of closeness that is not appropriate for a business letter.
Avoid these kinds of sign-offs, which are more appropriate for messages to friends or loved ones.
Beneath your letter closing, include your signature. If this is a physical letter, first sign your name in pen, and then include your typed signature below.
If this is an email letter, simply include your typed signature below your sendoff.
It is also important to include your contact information in your letter. If this is a physical letter, your contact information will be at the top of the letter. However, if this is an email, include that information beneath your typed signature. This will allows the recipient to respond to you easily.
How to Format a Letter Ending
Once you have chosen a word or phrase to use as a sendoff, follow it with a comma, some space, and then include your signature.
If you are sending a hard copy letter, leave four lines of space between the closing and your typed name. Use this space to sign your name in pen.
If you're sending an email, leave one space between the complimentary close and your typed signature. Include your contact information directly below your typed signature.
Hard Copy Letter
Handwritten Signature (for a mailed letter)
Contact information (for an emailed letter)
Letter Examples and Writing Tips
Letter samples for job seekers, including cover letters, interview thank you letters, follow-up letters, job acceptance and rejection letters, resignation letters, appreciation letters, and more great employment letter samples.
Sample Email Messages
Samples of professional email messages. Use these samples to format your professional email messages.
How to write business letters, general business letter format and templates, and employment-related business letter examples.