How to End a Letter (Example Closings, Sign Off's) [2020 Updated]

how to end a letter

Knowing how to end a business note, end a letter, or end an email is an important business skill to develop. It helps portray a sense of confidence, respect, and tone to your message that can help solicit a response and get you what you need.

Picking the wrong ending to an email, business letter or letter of recommendation can weaken the message in its entirety. And picking a formal ending to an informal letter and informal ending to a formal letter can also be embarrassing. We’re going to cover what makes a great ending to a business note and how you might be able to design a personalized signature that fits your personality.

Ready? Let’s get started.

how to end a letter

Table of Contents

What To Say Before Your Closing Statement

Your salvation is defined as the sendoff or the statement before you list your name in the signature of the letter. For example, “Sincerely”. Before you list this, though, you should always have some kind of true closing statement.

This closing statement should be something positive and thankful depending on the email or note that you’re sending. For the most part, something like, “Appreciate your fast response” or “Thank you in advance” is appropriate.

This lets the reader know that you’re appreciative of the action items that you’ve asked from them within the letter or email. And this should go before your closing statement.

This is what it should look like:

Thank you in advance.

John Smith

What Can I Say Other Than “Sincerely”

Sincerely is still one of the best closing statements that you can use in almost any professional setting. But if you’re looking for some creative alternatives that are as universal as “Sincerely”, here are a few options:

List Of Closing Statements For A Letter Or Email

Here is the absolute best list of closing statements that you can use for a legal letter, business letter, note to a friend, email or another type of semi-formal situation where you want to be presented as professional and with a more serious tone.

What Are Bad Closing Statement (Sign-off) Examples

Unless you’re sending a letter or email to a very close friend and the tone of the message is informal, avoid some of these closing sign-offs as they could make devalue the impact of your message:

Always have a complimentary closing to your letter ending. Which is why the above examples are too informal and don't work.

How To End A Letter To A Teacher

Let’s say you’re writing a letter to a teacher, this could an email or a professional letter that you’d like to be printed. What closing sign-off and closing statement do you pick? More than likely, your note is going to be professional. Here’s what you might want to pick when writing a letter of this kind:

Thank you in advance.

Warm regards,
John Smith

How To End A Letter Of Complaint

Let’s say you’re writing a letter of complaint. This is a professionally toned legal letter. What should you say as a closing statement and closing sign-off in a letter of this kind? Here’s an example of what you might want to pick:

I’m available to speak at your convenience.

Warm regards,
John Smith

Capitalization And Grammar Of Your Closing Statement

What should the grammar, capitalization, spacing, and line breaks be for your closing statement and solution? Here are the general guidelines.

When you list your closing statement, like “Thank you in advance”: say your closing statement, a double line break and then list your closing sign-off.

When you use your closing sign-off: when using your closing statement, capitalize the first letter of the greeting and add a comma after the send-off, a single line break with your name listed after.

Always capitalize the first letter of your closing statement or send off only. You don’t need to capitalize each letter of the send-off.

What Should Your Personal Signature Look Like

You should always have a personal signature following your sign-off. This should include your name, phone number, contact email address and potentially your address.

If you’re sending an email, you might not want to list your address. But all other contact information can absolutely be helpful. Here’s how that might look:

Warm regards,
John Smith

That’s an example of a perfect looking personal signature.

If you’re sending a legal letter, you may want to include the same level of information but have a personal signature that officiates the letter. For example, it would look something like this:

Warm Regards,
John Smith

[Handwritten signature]

123 Street., NY, 11211

Letter Closing FAQ's

Below are professional questions that job seekers or business professionals have had regarding letter closings.

Should my letter closing be different if I say the same thing in my email signature?

If sending a formal email instead of a letter and your email signature already has a complimentary closing to it, you don't need to repeat yourself. Use the email signature instead. And opt for a closing paragraph or closing sentence to end your formal letter. As long as your email signature contains a sincere thank you, you'll have more opportunity to write a simple yet impactful concluding paragraph to your email or letter.

What if I'm writing a cover letter? What should my closure be?

When writing a cover letter, you should use a cover letter closing paragraph and cover letter closing. The examples provided here are for business email, business letters, or general business correspondence. Use the closing examples provided for a business letter, not a cover letter.

Can I use someone's first name in my farewell expression?

Absolutely. Especially when writing an email. In your email closing, you may want to say, "Thank you so much Ryan" and conclude your email from there. Remember that closing your email in this way does not have a formal tone and should only be a closing salutation used for informal emails.

If I'm writing a letter or email to a business, how should I close that email or letter?

You should always close a business letter with a formal closing. This would be "Warm regards" or some other type of formal ending.

If I'm writing a letter to a colleague, how should I close that email or letter?

If you're closing a letter to a colleague, you should still use a formal ending. This will show respect to the reader that is proper for a professional situation.

What are some mistakes that are made when closing a letter?

The biggest one is using an informal closing when a formal one is more required. That is one of the biggest mistakes that professionals make.

What if it's a resignation letter, what are good ways to close that?

With a closing that shows gratitude. Like "Thank you so much for this opportunity".

Should I say love in my letter closing?

Using the term "love" can be very odd in professional circumstances. You should only say the word love if this is a personal letter to a loved one.

What is a closing phrase?

A closing phrase is the exact same as a closing sign-off. Though a phrase might mean you saying something like, "Thank you so much and look forward to speaking soon".

Why is a closing phrase important to have in a job application email?

When submitting your job application, your closing phrase can show your professionalism and comfort with sending professional emails and conducting yourself in professional situations. This will help the reader or hiring manager feel more secure with your professionalism. Finding a phrase you prefer and one that's proven to be acceptable to either a boss or colleague can be a great way to impress your prospective employer and speed up your job search profess.

Should I say "thank you for your consideration"?

Saying that is something that isn't going to leave a lasting impression on the reader. Though it is a simple phrase to use. You can use it on occasion. But if you're submitting an important document or want the reader to pay attention to what you have sent them (IE: applying for a job), I wouldn't use that sign-off.

What's the best tip you have for someone writing a sign-off?

Proofread your sign-off, ensure proper punctuation, sound excited, and show your experience as a professional through a unique and personalized touch you can add to the sign-off.

Should my closing sign-off ever be longer than a sentence?

It should be one very short sentence. Some people write a full paragraph. Do not do that. Keep it simple when crafting your own closing phrase.

Additional Business Letter Resources

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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