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.