How to End a Letter: 10 Examples & What to Avoid

 

How to end a professional email

How To End A Letter: 10+ Closing Letter Sample

Have you ever found yourself puzzling about how to end a formal business letter? Then, you know how it feels. You're almost done composing that all-important letter and now feel stuck because you can't decide on the proper closing sentence​. Should you put formal letter ending salutations and closings like “Yours sincerely”, drop the laconic “Best” or leave the closing blank at all? Choosing the right closing is even more important for a cover letter, as inappropriate closing can reduce your chances for an interview.

In today's article, you will find:

  • 10+ examples of best business letter closings you can use in your cover letter
  • things to avoid when signing off your email
  • professional tips for writing a closing sentence for different types of letters.

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10 effective business letter closings

Professional correspondence is a valuable skill for any profession, and you can prove it by using the appropriate closing phrase. When finalizing your business email, you need to pick one of the tried-and-true, formal options. Note that business letters aren't the best place to get overly creative. So, here are the best options to sign off an email:

  1. Sincerely
    Sincerely is put #1 because it's the most common and universal way to close all kinds of business letters. Speaking about its meaning – it restates the content of your letter in one word, pointing out that your letter's intent is sincere. This closing works for all types of instances, and if you are curious about how to create eye-catching a cover letter, keep in mind that it works best for job applications too.
  2. Yours truly
    A little less formal than the previous one, yours truly is better to use when addressing someone you are on a good note with. Although, like a previous one, this closing is all-purpose, yet its tone assumes a bit of warmth which may be misinterpreted if you use it writing to someone you've never met.
  3. Yours faithfully
    First of all, note that yours faithfully is used to address the unknown recipient (in this case, you start a letter with Dear Sir/Madam). This is another universal closing which doesn't carry any additional meanings or calls to action. it's mostly used in British business correspondence, whereas yours truly is an American popular option.
  4. Thanks (or Thanks again)
    Use thanks when writing to someone you've successfully collaborated with (a vendor, a colleague from other department and more) or a person who did you a favor. If you've already thanked the person once in the letter body, opt for thanks again. Again, if you are going to use this statement, make sure that the tone of your letter is appropriate – friendly and positive.
  5. Speak to you soon
    Speak to you soon or see you soon is used to close a letter to someone you know personally and intend to talk to face-to-face. In particular, it can be used when you're appointing the meeting with your contact or confirming an appointment. Craving more effective email writing advice?
  6. Regards (or Kind regards)
    Regards is another commonly used letter ending which indicates professionalism and respect and is quite universal. This one is often complemented with additional words which slightly alter the original meaning: kind regards(indicates a bit of warmth – do not use in cold emails), best regards (a safe bet – it's like adding a polite smile to standard regards) and warm regards (semi-formal option).
  7. Hope this helps
    Let's assume that you are giving advice or providing consulting to someone via email. For instance, you are sharing some tips for overloaded writers with your college student to help with their next assignment. Or, you are sharing the information about the custom editing website that can help with their resume. In this case, hope this helpscomes across as a perfect closer.
  8. Respectfully
    This letter ending speaks for itself – use it when writing to someone you deeply respect and admire, provided that the content of your email is appropriate. For example, this closing won't work in a letter of complaint or a similar one. It works best when you address a company's high-level executive or another authoritative person.
  9. Take care
    You should use this letter closing carefully, as it's more common for personal letters. Don't use it when addressing to potential customers, vendors, or your boss. However, it might be acceptable to end your letter with take carewhen writing to a colleague you've known for years and are on a good note with. Wish your relationships with coworkers were better?
  10. Best
    Best or all the best has a direct meaning – you wish the recipient all the good things. So, feel free to use it in your business correspondence, even though it sounds a bit less formal than sincerely or respectfully. Like the above-mentioned examples, it's multi-purpose and can be used in letters to business contacts across industries.

There's plenty of effective closings to choose from – use the above options depending on the context of your email and your familiarity with the letter's recipient.

How to write an effective formal letter?

Formal letters have their structure and writing style. If you are looking to give your business correspondence skills a boost, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use the right letter structure. Start your letter by date, company, your recipient's address, and name. Make sure that your letter has the introduction, body, conclusion, and a professional sign-off.
  • Add a formal greeting. Address the recipient by name. If you don't know who your recipient is, write Dear Hiring Manager or Dear Sales Department.
  • Start with the introduction and your intent. Just like in a physical letter, when writing a formal email, you need to introduce yourself in a couple of sentences (when writing to a colleague or supervisor, skip this part). Then, explain the purpose of your letter (to sell something, to discuss the marketing strategy in detail, to be considered for a job, etc.).
  • Write a letter body. In this section, write the main information you'd like to share with the recipient. Add the essential details, but don't be too wordy. Whether you are sending an email or a printed letter, remember to be brief.
  • Add a formal conclusion. If necessary, reiterate the main points of your letter and add a call to action. Make sure that your conclusion is more than one word - at least one meaningful sentence. End a letter with one of the closing salutations above.
  • Be polite. Even if you are writing to a coworker whom you know well, be respectful and polite. Thank them for their time and show that their help is greatly appreciated.
  • Proofread. Nobody likes receiving professional correspondence full of errors. Do a quick spell check before you hit Send to ensure a professional impression.

How to sign off an email: 5 things to avoid

To create effective professional emails, it's also important to know what types of closings to avoid. If you end your letter in one of the below ways, it might discredit your professional image and make a negative impression on reader.

Informal closing

Cheers, with love, best wishes, and xoxo are all great for handwritten letters to your best friend. Yet, when it comes to formal letters, they are totally unacceptable. They show that you are either not familiar with business etiquette or simply don't care. Neither is the impression you want to make.

No sign-off

In rare cases, no sign-off is acceptable – for example, when you are responding to an email chain or giving an urgent and brief answer to a colleague's letter. In all other situations, sending an email without a closing shows poor etiquette and a lack of respect for the recipient.

Sent from my iPhone

There's an ongoing debate on whether sent from my iPhone is professional.  On the one hand, when you continue a long conversation with someone, the person will be more receptive to typos and mistakes as they know you've written that email on the go. On the other hand, when you reach out to an important client or prospective employer, this closing doesn't make the right impression.

Emoticons

Using emojis in business emails is unprofessional. Consequently, don't use them in the closing as well. Although, if your contact is using emojis, you might want to respond to them in the same style and keep the conversation on a friendlier note.

Typos and grammar mistakes

This rule applies to your letter content in general rather than a signoff, but is worth being repeated. Proofread the letter several times to exclude writing mistakes of any kind. Errors in writing make a negative impression on a reader and can cost you an interview, an important contract or your boss's loyalty.

Avoid being too informal, too relaxed or careless when signing off your business letter. This will leave a poor impression both about you as a professional and a company you work for.

How to end a cover letter for a job application

Writing a cover letter requires an extra effort since, if written poorly, you'll never get a response from a hiring manager. The closing of a cover letter should be kept strictly professional since you don't know the person you're emailing. Moreover, you want to make the best possible impression on the recipient and demonstrate expert writing skills and understanding of business etiquette. So, your best options for closing this type of letter are Sincerely, Best regards or Yours faithfully.

How to end a thank you letter?

The rules for ending a thank you note are the same as for cover letters except for one small difference. Since you've already spoken to the recipient in person, the closing might vary depending on the tone and contents of your interview. You can say with sincere thanks if the interview went on a friendly note or thank you for your consideration if you believe the interview went great.

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