Do you have that professional email mostly written, but you’re not quite sure how to wrap it up? Or do you feel like you’re defaulting to the same email closings every time and want some alternatives? Sure, if you’re emailing someone you talk to everyday, it’s not necessarily the end of the world to skip the sign-off and end with just your name. But when you want to make sure an email makes a good impression, taking an extra beat to consider how you’re ending your note could help it land the way you want it to.
When you’re sending a professional email—for work or school, in your job search, or in a personal situation where you’re dealing with a business—the ending of your message “can leave a lingering favourable impression [and] give a satisfying sense of completion”.
Read on to see how to end your emails the right way—plus a list of professional closings for any situation.
The amount and type of information you add to your email endings will depend on the situation. But generally, the less you know the person you’re emailing, the more info is required.
Closing line: Jumping from the main subject of your email directly to your sign-off might be jarring, especially for longer messages. You can ease the transition with a closing line that expresses gratitude or well wishes. Even if someone is quickly scanning an email, they often read the last line, so you can also use this space to include a call to action or to reiterate to the recipient what you need from them.
Closing (or sign-off): This is the word or phrase that goes right above your name. Think “Sincerely,” “Best,” “Thanks,” or something like “Have a great weekend!” Unless you’re more than a few emails into an email thread (especially over a short period of time) or you’re very close with the recipient, you need a professional closing for your email. See below for a list of options.
Name: If this is the first email, you’re sending someone, you should generally go with your full name (first and last or whatever you commonly go by), or your first name followed by a default email signature that has your full name in it. For conversations with people you already know, your first name is usually enough.
Title and company: You might include one or both of these as part of your email ending, depending on who you’re contacting and why. If you’re emailing someone outside of the organization you work for, including both tells the recipient what you do and where you work. If you’re emailing a co-worker (particularly from a company email address), the company you work for is a given and you can leave it off, but if you haven’t interacted with the person before, your position might be helpful to include. During your job search, you should generally leave your current workplace out. You’re not writing the email as part of your current company’s business (plus you’re trying to leave, so it could confuse the reader).
Contact info: The person you’re emailing already has your email address (though you could include it in a default email signature), but you might want to consider adding other methods of reaching you such as a work or cell phone number. But only list ways you actually want to be contacted.
More context about who you are/the work you do: If you’re making a first introduction or creating your default email signature, you can also use your email signature to give your email recipient more context about what you’ve done in the form of links to your LinkedIn profile, personal website or portfolio, and/or your social media accounts (if they’re professional and relevant!).
If you’re creating a default email signature, consider adding everything on this list from “name” down (you should tailor the closing line and sign-off for each note). Note that “Sent from my iPhone” is not part of a professional email ending and is appropriate only when it makes sense for the other person to know that you sent an email on the go. Otherwise, delete this before you hit send, and definitely keep it out of any email cover letters.
Sending a Cover Letter:
Thank you for taking the time to review my application, and I hope to hear from you soon!
Responding to an Interview Request:
I look forward to speaking with you on Thursday.
Reaching Out to Someone at Another Company for the First Time:
I look forward to working with you as your company begins the transition to XYZ’s new CRM software.
All the best,
Account Manager, XYZ Solutions
Emailing a Colleague, You Work With Regularly:
I’m excited to hear your thoughts on this slide deck by Tuesday afternoon. Hope you have a great long weekend!
Here’s a list of possible email closings to help you change things up. When considering what type of sign-off to go with, think about who you’re emailing and why. If you’re replying to someone else’s message, try to pay attention to cues and gauge the formality of their note in order to match it.
Think cover letters, job search and application-related emails (especially if it’s the first time you’re emailing this person), and messages to people you don’t know well or at all.
These email closings work well when you’re corresponding with someone you know well or when you’re a few exchanges deep in an email thread. Use these with close colleagues and co-workers or anyone else you have a professional, but more casual relationship with.
Maybe the person is taking something off your plate during an especially busy week or connecting you with someone in their network. Or perhaps you’re just thanking someone for their time. (Note: Try to match how effusive your thanks are with the reason you’re expressing gratitude to avoid confusion—“thanks a million” for something relatively small could leave the email receiver wondering if you’re being sarcastic.)
These sign-offs have no place in a professional email. Reserve them for exchanges with friends and loved ones only.