Whether it’s a cover letter, a resignation letter, or a reference letter, the ending of your letter is a crucial component. Not only does it signal “the end,” but it also sends a message about your feelings and intentions toward the reader.
Close It Out with the Right Closing Sentence
Ending a letter consists of two parts.
The first part of your letter ending is the closing. This is one or two sentences that sum things up. It can express gratitude, invite the reader to act, or whatever is appropriate for the situation and audience.
Here are some closing examples:
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to connecting.
I look forward to seeing you at the [event] on [date].
I appreciate everything you’ve done, and I hope we can work together again soon.
10 Endings for a Letter
Once you’ve summed things up, you can end your letter.
This “final word” cements the overall message of your letter. So, consider your relationship with the recipient and the reason why you’re writing.
For example, if you’re writing a resignation letter to your boss, you’ll likely choose an ending that’s professional and polite, as opposed to mean and spiteful. Likewise, the ending of a cover letter is very different from how you might end a complaint letter.
Because there’s no one “right” way to end a letter, here are 10 suggestions to help you out!
A classic ending, “Sincerely” is as polite and neutral of a letter ending as you can get! When you end a letter with this, you’re signaling that you’re honest, genuine, and straightforward.
“Respectfully” is another classic ending. To some, this ending is a step up from “Sincerely” in that you are signaling your respect for the reader.
However, depending on the nature of the letter and your relationship to the reader, it’s possible that “Respectfully” could be read, ironically, as disrespectful. Sometimes, people use “Respectfully” and its variations (“With Respect,” for example) to indicate that while you respect the reader’s right to whatever it is, you are not on the same page.
3. Yours Truly
Though some may consider it bland or even outdated, “Yours Truly” is a safe, polite, and generally neutral ending for a letter. It’s unlikely to ruffle any feathers or be misinterpreted.
4. Thanks (or Thanks Again)
“Thanks” and “Thanks Again” are generally great options when you are truly thanking your reader.
However, like “Respectfully,” you may need to exercise caution when writing “Thanks.” If, for any reason, the reader doesn’t believe you are thankful, “Thanks” could have a flat landing or even read as sarcasm.
If you’ve already thanked the reader once (or even more than once), “Appreciatively” is a fantastic alternative. And unlike “Thanks,” there’s less of a chance it lands the wrong way, as people don’t often use “Appreciatively” in the same negative way “Thanks” is sometimes used.
6. Regards (or Best Regards, Warm Regards, and Kind Regards)
One of the many meanings of “regards” includes feeling respect and affection. Because most readers won’t associate affection with “Regards” or any version of it, this is usually a safe bet to end your letter.
“Best” is another common letter ending. It implies that you only have “the best” wishes for the reader and that you hope they experience only good things.
“Best” is an informal ending, though, and should generally only close a letter with people you’re familiar with. You can use “Best” on a business letter as long as your relationship with the reader and the situation merit it.
Though some might say that “Cordially” is a bit stiff and formal, it does indicate that you are sending sincere or deeply felt wishes. It’s usually associated with pleasant and friendly feelings, although “cordial” can be used to indicate strong negative feelings.
Also, “cordial” is a liqueur, and though your ending probably has nothing to do with alcohol, depending on the situation, you may want to skip the cordial wishes!
9. Speak to You Soon
“Speak to You Soon” is very straightforward. You are clearly stating that you want to and likely will speak with the reader soon.
While there’s nothing wrong with this ending, depending on the situation, it can seem threatening, so it’s generally best to use this closing only on pleasant letters.
When in doubt, it’s perfectly acceptable to end your letter with nothing. Simply close your letter, then sign your name.
While leaping from closing to your name without an ending is a bit abrupt, sometimes it’s better to end things than choose an ending that is misinterpreted.
In the End
From beginning to end, your letter should be a cohesive message for your reader. Make sure you finish your letter on the right note by selecting the ending that best fits your relationship with the reader and the situation.
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