How to Close Your Cover Letter Like a Boss

David Luther
by David Luther
Get The Job, Guides - 1 year ago
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You know what cover letters are? They’re a time-consuming — for the applicant — way for hiring managers to eliminate you, rather than a way to single you out as a spectacular candidate.

And since recruiters say it takes about a minute to decide whether a candidate is viable or not, you should probably spend more time on the resume than the cover letter — but even then, you’ll probably have to play the game and write one, so how to end it?

Thanks, regards, cheers, best regards, thanks in advance, thank you, best and kind regards — you may use one or even all of these, but what do the numbers say is the most powerful closing?

Never fear, we’ll tell you not only how to close your closing paragraph but how to sign off as well.

But first…

What a cover letter is for

A cover letter once served a real purpose. In the days before the magical internet was created, they were a way for candidates to draw connections between their resumes and the company the jobs they hoped to secure.

And now, they also serve a purpose: to showcase your typos and indicate that you weren’t just shotgun blasting your applications across the whole wide internet — and speaking of which, about 84 percent of companies use social media for recruiting.

Who reads them

Not anyone, really.

At least, they probably don’t according to anecdotal evidence, and only about 18 percent of hiring managers rank it as an important piece in the process.

But as you may have guessed, job listings don’t explicitly indicate if they truly care about the cover letter or not, so your best bet is to hedge that bet and include one that works for you.

How cover letter endings can help

The point of a cover letter is to draw the connection between you and the job in case it’s not obvious to the reader. It shows you have something to say, that you know about the job and are interested in working for the company.

If you’re interviewing for a position in a writing-heavy creative industry like marketing, content creation, or public relations then your cover letter and its ending serve to illustrate your communication skills, how your qualifications match the job requirements, and how you can be reached to discuss your availability.

Don’t use a template, please.

As we said before, for many jobs you apply for the cover letter is just to see if you can communicate effectively and care enough to tailor your application for the reader.

Most cover letters, even for hiring managers who ask for them, aren’t read. It’s just a fact, and it sucks that you have to play this game. And if someone reads it, the odds are that they’re going to read the beginning, skim the middle, and remember the end — so it’s critical that you make the beginning and end impactful.

Skip the template intros and endings

Don’t begin with one of those insipid paragraphs to your job application package that manages to say nothing more than you’re applying for a job.

“I’m writing to inform you that I became aware of this position blah blah blah” is the standard intro sentence, and it’s a waste of everyone’s time. It’s the rice cake of cover letters, just a bunch of air with no flavor.

It’s closing counterpart goes something like, “I hope to hear from you soon regarding my qualifications for this.”

Running with the rice cake metaphor, it doesn’t matter what the filling is if the first and last thing you taste is a stale-tasting crunch that takes up room and has little merit.

End the body of the letter memorably

Your ending matters, because the final though you leave the reader with is… just that, the final thought they have. Some people will go so far as to say that you write your resume assuming that it will be read bottom to top, but that’s kind of risky.

All the same, end on something that gives the reader an appreciation that you’re more than just grateful that they made it that far without crumbling up the paper.

Remind them of what you offer, not what they can offer you.

There’s a person out there who’s reading this right now, this very moment, who thought it was a good idea to close the very letter that explains what they have to offer an employer with a phrase like, “I hope to deepen my understanding of the field.”

That person is probably reading this how-to-get-a-job guide because they didn’t get that job due to that ending.

Leave them with sort of call to action.

That same individual from before probably considered something that demonstrated power, something very Glengarry Glen Ross like “I’ll call to schedule my interview next week.”

That makes you look like a massive turd, and closers aren’t massive turds.

Instead, say something along the lines of, ”I welcome an opportunity to speak further about what I can offer.”

Examples

You’re most likely going to be emailing this, so hopefully you’ve kept the whole thing under 250 words to maintain their attention — don’t ruin it by droning on and on at the end, and don’t waste precious space on redundant information like telling them where to contact you when you’re about to put it in your email signature.

“I would love an opportunity to meet in person to further discuss my experience and the value I can offer in this position at your earliest convenience.”

“All of that said, I would appreciate an opportunity to discuss my credentials and suitability for this position with you.”

“I’d like to thank you again for taking the time to review my application and resume, and I welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications with you in detail.”

Use a professional closing

As for the actual end, steer clear of the casual and overly-familiar, like:

  • XOXO — because cuddly kittens can’t handle the workplace
  • Faithfully — faithfully in what?
  • Eagerly waiting for your reply — you’ll seem anxious and irritating
  • Cheers — if you’re British, it’s too familiar. If you’re American, it’s too obnoxious.

It’s also probably not the best time for “best wishes” either, even though you probably have a professor you respect who inspired you to close all emails with it.

You’ll want to stick to things like:

  • Regards
  • Sincerely
  • Respectfully

And then there’s always “Thanks,” which is one of my favorites. And in case you forgot how to format a letter closing, do it like this (with the first letter of your closing message capitalized):

Thanks,
Name
Link to portfolio or LinkedIn
Email address (a professional one)
Phone number

And as promised, the statistical winner is…

“Thanks in advance”

I know, it seems a little odd for a jobseeker, but a study by Boomerang indicates that it’s got the best response rate, but of course that’s for all email closings, not just applications.

And because of that, we feel that the “in advance” part may come off as a little presumptuous — but the gratitude part is always appreciated. So drop the advance and just say thank you.

After all, don’t we all like to be appreciated?

Thanks,
Zippia