How to close your cover letter
Monster career expert Vicki Salemi says to end your cover letter with a handshake, not a fist bump.
Goodbyes can be hard. Both in person and in writing. Do you get stiff and uncomfortably formal in your written closing statements, or do you like to keep them super light-hearted to the point where it’s almost comedic? Maybe you just avoid the closer altogether? But there has to be a right way to finish strong, especially when it comes to signing off a cover letter.
Luckily, there has been some recent analysis on the art of the written closing statement. In a new study, email software company Boomerang looked at sign-offs from more than 350,000 email threads to see which are most frequently used. There were eight popular closings, all ones you’ve probably used at some point in time: Thanks, regards, cheers, best regards, thanks in advance, thank you, best and kind regards.
Using these closers in emails is one thing, but the point of a cover letter is for you to stand out—and get a response back. That’s why Boomerang dived further into these emails to uncover which of these popular closings had the best response rate.
To our surprise, “thanks in advance” was deemed the most effective in the study. But from a job seeker’s point of view, at least, something about that phrase just doesn’t sit well with us.
That’s why we asked Monster career expert Vicki Salemi, who has read countless cover letters in her 15 years in corporate recruiting, to tell us what your sign-off says about you from a recruiter’s perspective.
Is “best” really best?
While the study determined “thanks in advance” was most effective when it came to receiving a response, Salemi is telling you—in advance—that it might not be best to close out your cover letter with that particular phrase.
“It sounds like a fist pump instead of firm handshake,” she says. “No one I ever considered as a candidate got looked over for being too formal and polite in their correspondence; however, the opposite—being too casual—always made me pause.”
When in doubt, Salemi says to go for the standard golden salutation: “Thank you.” She also likes “best,” “kind regards” and “best regards.” And although not mentioned in the study, Salemi says “sincerely” and “all the best” come across as formal and classy.
Say “adios” to these faux pas
When it comes to a cover letter, there is definitely a wrong way to write your sign off. Namely, if you go too casual, your cover letter is probably going into the trash.
“Even if you’re applying to a job at a startup with a laid back culture, avoid closings like ‘adios’ and ‘ciao,’” Salemi says. (Of course, ignore this rule if you’re applying to a job in which you’ll need to speak Spanish or Italian.)
Oh and maybe save the “cheers” for later when you’re out at the bar you’re your friends celebrating your new job.
“’Cheers’ is extremely casual and great for when you want to buddy up with someone,” Salemi says. “But as for a potential employer when you’re supposed to present your most pristine, polished self? Not effective.”
Just don’t leave without saying goodbye
Never thought this would be so complicated, did you? At this point, you are probably considering just ending your cover letter with your name, phone number and email address and calling it a day.
Well, turns out that’s not such a great idea either, Salemi says.
“It’s like working out without a cool down,” she says. “You need to come full circle and close it out.”
The main thing to remember about a closer, Salemi says, is that you shouldn’t overthink it. Something like, “Thank you,” “Thank you for your consideration” or “Looking forward to hearing from you soon” should be just fine.
XOXO, uhh, we mean: “Thank you for reading,”
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Cover Letter Closing Examples
When you're writing a cover letter or sending an email message to apply for a job, it's important to close your letter in as professional a manner as possible. As with any job-related correspondence, it's best to opt for a more formal language and tone — a cover letter is no place for "XOXO," “Cheers,” or even a casual "take care" as a closer.
Cover Letter Closing Examples
The following is a list of letter closing examples that are appropriate for cover letters and other employment-related correspondence, such as thank you notes and/or emails to schedule interviews or pass along references.
- Sincerely yours
- Best regards
- With best regards
- Kind regards
- Yours truly
- Most sincerely
- Respectfully yours
- Thank you
- Thank you for your consideration
Closings Not to Use
A cover letter is a formal correspondence, so it's important not to be too casual or friendly when writing it. Here are some letter closings that are fine to use when emailing or writing to a friend, but are not appropriate to use in a cover letter.
- Best wishes
- Eagerly waiting for a response
- Warm regards
- Warmest regards
- Take care
- Take it easy
- Have a great day
- Have a nice day
- Yours faithfully
- Abbreviations (Thx or any other abbreviated word isn't appropriate)
- Any emoticon (no smiley faces)
- Sent from my phone (if your phone automatically includes it, you can remove it in the settings)
How to Close the Letter
Follow the closing with a comma. Then, on a new line, put your name.
If you're sending an email, you can add your contact information below your name. For example:
Your LinkedIn Profile URL
Your Email Address
Your Phone Number
Whichever sign-off you choose, make sure always to capitalize its first letter.
Set Up an Email Signature
To simplify, you can set up an email signature that includes your contact information.
An email signature will make it easy for correspondents to readily see how to get in touch and saves you the time of typing the information repeatedly.
In your signature, include your LinkedIn profile URL to make it easy for your recipients to view your skills, accomplishments, educational background, and work history. Depending on your field, you may also want to include a link to your Twitter account; if you do so, make sure that your account is professional and appropriate for viewing by potential employers.
It’s a wise idea, when conducting a job search, to set up an email account (and accompanying address) dedicated solely to this search. Doing so will help to ensure that you don’t miss emails from potential employers who might be interested in interviewing you. It also will allow you to provide a professional-sounding email address on your resume and cover letter; this email address should be comprised simply of your name (Ex. “John_T._Smith” at gmail.com).
Too often, job candidates use their personal email accounts to apply for jobs, often using “cute” email names such as “Crafty_catlady@yahoo.com” or OrcWarrior100@gmail.com.” This casual practice often raises hiring managers, eyebrows, raising red flags about whether a candidate is a serious, qualified applicant for the job to which they are applying.
It’s better to err on the side of safety and separate your professional and personal email accounts.
Find out how to set up a professional email signature, including formatting style and links to help you save a signature in your preferred email program.
Cover letters, whether submitted through email or traditional mail channels, are always the first impression you provide a potential employer. Make sure that this impression is a good one by following the “best practices” outlined in these links so that your cover letter shines.
How to Write a Cover Letter
Having an appropriate close is just one of the many steps required to craft a winning cover letter. Review the links below to find out how to write a cover letter, including what to include in your cover letter, how to write a cover letter, typical cover letter formats, targeted cover letters, and cover letter samples and examples.
More About Cover Letters
Top 10 Cover Letter Writing Tips
Email Cover Letters
Sample Cover Letters