4 Steps To Closing Letters Appropriately (With Tips)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated December 4, 2022
Published October 18, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Letter writing is a very common process that most professionals are likely to encounter. Nonetheless, the appropriate way to close a letter may be confusing to some. Understanding the steps for closing letters can aid you when corresponding for both personal and official purposes. In this article, we discuss how to close a letter, outline formatting tips for letter closings, give examples of letter closings and show samples of using a letter closing.
How to write a closing letter
Follow these steps when closing letters:
1. Include a meaningful closing paragraph
The closing paragraph of your letter comes just before your letter closing. Depending on the purpose of the letter, this paragraph may be between one and four sentences long. Here are some options to achieve a relevant final paragraph:
Restate the letter's purpose
When writing a lengthy or important letter, it can be helpful to restate the main details at the end. This ensures that your reader doesn't miss the most relevant details. To restate the letter's purpose, read through and select the most important points. Next, restate them in order of importance or urgency. In the same line, you can include words or phrases like Again or To restate my points to indicate the purpose of the closing paragraph.
Request an action
You can use the closing of your letter to request that the reader take a certain action or inform them of an action you're hoping they take. For example, a job candidate may inform the hiring manager that they'd like to meet for further discussion. Similarly, a client may request that a company forwards their invoice via email. When requesting an action, it's best to suggest a time you'd prefer your reader complete the action as that's more likely to get a response.
Thank the reader
The purpose of your letter may be to ask your reader for a favour, assistance, or consideration for a role. In such instances, it can be beneficial to thank them in advance. This communicates respect and can make the reader more likely to help you with your request. For example, a job candidate can thank the hiring manager for their time. Similarly, a student requesting a recommendation letter may thank the lecturer for it in advance.
Related: How to Write a Thank You Letter
When writing a letter, it may be necessary to seek consent about future actions you plan to take. The closing paragraph is ideal for making such requests. For example, a customer service representative may ask if a customer is fine with receiving promotional letters in the future. Similarly, a student may ask their professor if it's fine to send them updates about a project.
Make an inquiry
Another common purpose of the closing paragraph is to inquire. This can be to ask about a process or some other information. For instance, someone writing to their family may use their closing paragraph to ask about the neighbours or a nearby friend. Similarly, a job candidate may use the closing paragraph of their letter to inquire about future stages in the hiring process.
Related: How to End a Letter
2. Consider the context
When deciding on the appropriate closing, it can be helpful to consider the letter's purpose. Matching your letter closing with the purpose of your letter can make it appear more organized and professional. For example, if your letter requests a favour or shows appreciation for a previous favour, you can close with With appreciation or With gratitude. Similarly, you can close a formal business letter with Respectfully or Yours sincerely. Lastly, remember that two letters may have the same context but require different levels of formality.
3. Consider your relationship with the reader
Your relationship with your reader determines how comfortable you're with them. For example, you're more likely to use casual language with close friends and formal language with professional colleagues. The different types of relationships include:
This refers to a situation where you don't know the reader well or communicate in a strict formal setting. For example, a marketing associate writing to their manager is writing a formal letter. Similarly, a customer service representative writing to a customer is writing a formal letter. In the case of formal relationships, the focus is on the correctness of the tone, making it best to stick to straightforward and professional closings like Yours sincerely or Yours faithfully.
You have a semi-formal relationship with a person you know fairly well or with a work colleague you know personally. Semi-formal letters still use formal language, but the requirements aren't as strict as a formal letter. For example, a person writing to their colleague may use semi-formal closing like Best regards, Kind regards, or With thanks. Nonetheless, semi-formal letters still require the writer to be concise and professional with their language.
Informal relationships are with people with whom we have personal or intimate relationships. This includes friends, families, or romantic partners. Informal letters allow the use of casual language, with little regard for the rules of formality. You can close an informal letter with any word or phrase you prefer. For example, you may close an informal letter with phrases like Your favourite person, With love, or Thinking about you. Similarly, you can include just your first name or nickname in an informal letter. As you're not writing for formal purposes, there's no reason to include your signature.
4. Close with a signature
Your signature shows that you authorize the content of the letter making it important to include a signature at the end of your letter. If it's a physical letter, you may use a pen to sign at the bottom page. Official letters may require a stamp, especially if they're for business use. After signing, you can include your full name, job title, and phone number if they're not already in the letter heading. Lastly, you can sign by including your full name, job title, and email address for emails.
Tips for formatting your letter closings
Here are some tips you can follow to format the closing of your correspondence:
Align your closing paragraph properly. If your letter is in a block format, the ideal approach is to align your closing paragraph to the left. For a semi-block letter format, ensure your closing paragraph begins on the right side of the centre so it aligns with the date in your address section.
Capitalize the first letter of your closing. Ensure your closing remark always begins with a capital letter. For closings with two words, only capitalize the first letter of the first word.
Include a comma. For proper formatting, always include a comma after your closing remark. Next, write your full name and close with a full stop.
Leave space for your signature. If you intend to sign by hand or digitally attach a signature to your letter, then include a space between the closing remark and your name. For example, you may press the "enter" key twice to leave enough space for a signature.
Proofread thoroughly. As it's the last part of the letter, the closing can be prone to misspellings and other errors. You can avoid any embarrassing errors by proofreading the closing thoroughly.
Examples of closing letters appropriately
Here are some examples of letter closings you can consider:
Formal letter closings
When writing letters for professional or business purposes, the best approach is to use a formal closing. You can consider words and phrases like:
Semi-formal letter closings
These closings are appropriate for correspondence with colleagues or clients with whom you have a personal relationship. They include:
All the best
Informal letter closings
You can use this type of closing when writing to people with whom you have an intimate personal relationship. Appropriate words and phrases include:
From your favourite person
Thinking of you
Example letter closings for different situations
Here are some samples of how to close a letter in various situations:
Sample 1 for ending a job application letter
Here is an example if you want to end a job application letter:
Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. If it's fine for you, I'd love to meet up to discuss my interest in your company.
Sample 2 for ending a letter requesting a task
Here is an example ending to the letter requesting a task:
Kindly remember to save the document as a pdf file and send it as an attachment to the email. Thank you for your hard work.
Sample 3 for ending a letter to a friend
Here is an example ending to an informal letter to a friend:
I hope your parents and siblings are doing well in Whitehorse. I look forward to seeing you all in person soon. Thank you for reaching out!
Now that you have been shown how to close a letter, given examples of letter closings, and learned which to use in specific situations, you can address your letters in varying situations confidently.
The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.
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