A Guide on How to End a Letter in Any Professional Scenario
Wondering how to end a letter? You've come to the right place. Throughout the stages of your professional life, you’ll inevitably find yourself writing letters — letters of interest, thank you letters and resignation letters, to name a few. These letters are more formal and significant than a simple email or text, and should be crafted with care.
While the body of a letter will convey the majority of your message, the conclusion shouldn’t be underestimated. The end of a letter is the last thing you share with a reader, and mishaps in tone or message could up-end the rest of your writing.
A skillful closing will strengthen the intent of your previous passages and leave the audience with a lasting impression of your letter. Read below for advice on and examples of stellar concluding paragraphs and salutations.
What belongs in a concluding paragraph?
Start your concluding paragraph by briefly recapping the body of your letter. Remember, the key to summarization is being succinct — there’s no need to be redundant and rewrite all that you’ve just put on paper.
After a sentence or two of review, close your letters with a call to action. Hubspot writer Clifford Chi explains, “These call-to-actions are crucial because they tell them how to get the ball rolling.” By outlining next steps at the end, you let the reader know what you want the outcome of the letter to be, and provide them with concrete suggestions for how they can move forward. Without guidance, the reader may be unsure of what should happen next. Phrases like “looking forward to speaking“ and “excited to offer more information” encourage a colleague to take action without being pushy.
The following templates demonstrate concluding paragraphs that are concise and direct while maintaining an appropriate tone.
For a letter of interest
“I’m excited by the idea of working in a larger market and for a company that is constantly innovating and recognized as an industry leader. I’ve enclosed my resume, which outlines my experience and skills. I’d love to sit down and talk with you about Alpha Beta’s explosive growth and new user acquisition strategy. Would you be open to meeting with me at your convenience?” —Grammarly writer Karen Hertzberg
For a cover letter
“If I am offered this position, I will be ready to hit the ground running and help XYZ Company exceed its own expectations for success. I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how my qualifications will be beneficial to your organization’s success. I will call you next Tuesday to follow up on my application and arrange for an interview.” —Glassdoor writer Heather Huhman
For a resignation letter
“I’m committed to making this transition period as smooth as possible. I’ll continue to work on my [SPECIFIC JOB RESPONSIBILITIES] until my resignation. Following my departure, [COLLEAGUE/REPLACEMENT] will be the new point of contact. I look forward to staying in touch, and please feel free to add my personal email to your address book: [PERSONAL EMAIL].” —Glassdoor writer Caroline Gray
What sign-off should I use for a business letter?
The salutation at the end of a letter may seem little more than a phrase to throw in before your signature, but it is more important than you might initially assume. Think about it this way: what would happen if you put “XOXO” instead of “Sincerely” at the end of a letter to your boss?
When considering how to end a letter, keep in mind that choosing the wrong closing phrase can throw off the tone of your letter and confuse your audience. Below are sign-offs to use for a variety of scenarios, so regardless of your reader, we’ve got you covered.
- Best regards
- Yours sincerely
These simple phrases are appropriate sign-offs for pretty much any letter. While they are a bit stuffy and less personal than a specialized outro, they are always a safe bet, especially when you are addressing someone you have never met before.
When corresponding with someone you know
- I hope you are doing well
- Happy holidays
- I will see you in the office
- Looking forward to speaking with you
- Thank you/Thanks
If you’re corresponding with a colleague or professional who you know, you have to strike the right balance between friendly and work appropriate. These endings are warm without being too intimate or laid back.
Even more letter endings
- Best wishes
- Happy [day of the week]
- Have a great morning/afternoon
- Much appreciated
- Warm regards
- With gratitude
- Yours truly
If you still haven’t found the right closing phrase, these letter endings are all suitable for professional letters. Keep in mind, these send-offs won’t fit all scenarios like the basics will, so be cognizant of the tone of your letter when deciding which salutation is appropriate.
Closing phrases you should never use
Even with your work BFF, overly affectionate language crosses the line of professionality, especially if your letter gets into the wrong hands. Save xoxo for work unrelated messages!
- See you around!
You may have good intentions behind including this phrase and others like it (such as “Take it easy!” or “Have a good one!”), but they’re too informal for a professional letter, even when corresponding with someone that you know. They are more appropriate in a low-stakes personal email.
- No sign off
Never sign a letter without an ending phrase. While it may not initially seem consequential (it’s just one word, right?) it can come off as impersonal and abrupt to the reader. It’s best to always include some kind of salutation before your signature.
Unless it’s a harmless note to a close colleague, there’s no need for a postscript. It can come off as childish, and all the important information you need to convey to a reader should already be included in the body of your letter.
How should I format my signature?
Once you’ve chosen your closing statement, use the following template to properly format your signature:
Capitalize only the first word of the ending phrase (Much appreciated, not Much Appreciated).
When including a written signature, put the signature first and then your printed name below. If you did not put your contact information at the top of the letter, then it should be included after your printed name. Make sure to put down your email and phone number(s), and in digital formats you can also include a link to your LinkedIn profile. When completed, your signature should look like this:
Office: (123) 456-7890
Cell: (098) 765-4321
Congrats! Now you know how to end a letter. Want more writing tips? Read below for more useful information on composing a variety of professional letters!
13 Must-Have Words to Include in Your Resume
How to Write a Resignation Letter
How to Write a Letter of Interest in 2018
Are Optional Cover Letters Really Optional?
How to Write a Winning Thank You Letter