Your cover letter closing matters. Here are some tips on how to finish strong — and some Resumania™ examples highlighting what not to do.
Many job seekers focus all their attention on polishing their resume, giving less importance to writing a strong cover letter. But the cover letter isn’t just a formality. It’s as important as your resume. In fact, it can be even more essential because if it doesn’t capture a hiring manager’s attention, your resume might not get eyeballed at all.
Your resume may spell out your skills, but it’s your cover letter that gives you the opportunity to convince a potential employer that you would be an asset to the company and can hit the ground running. And the final paragraph of your letter might be the most important — it’s what leaves the last impression of you with a hiring manager. Your close should propel them to action, namely to schedule an interview.
3 components of a good close
Use the closing to accomplish three tasks: Sum up your strengths and how they make you a good fit for the company; include an action item that moves the process forward; and thank the hiring manager for their time.
In recasting your professional strengths, don’t simply repeat phrases the hiring manager has already read. Use fresh language to succinctly make your case.
And don’t end on a passive note. A close like, “I look forward to hearing from you,” won’t spur a manager to pick up the phone.
Instead, take control of planning your next interaction. In your closing paragraph, specify how you’ll follow up. For example, you could write, “I look forward to speaking with you in person about how I can put my skills to work for ABC Widgets. I will call your office on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of an interview.” You can always add, “Feel free to reach me earlier at your convenience.”
Don’t get ahead of yourself, though, with statements like, “I will call you next week and schedule an interview.” You want to be assertive and confident, not aggressive and arrogant.
Finally, make sure to offer thanks for their time and consideration.
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As far as tone, use the same style for your final paragraph you employed in crafting the rest of your cover letter: Keep it professional. This isn’t the forum for jokes, text-message shorthand, high emotion, exclamation points or casual language.
Similarly, restate what you can offer the company, not how the job would benefit your goals. The objective is to provide a final punch of information, not request it or make demands. It’s your second chance in the letter to (more succinctly) demonstrate to the hiring manager that you have researched the company and the position and are familiar with its mission.
Indent your sign-off, followed by a comma, and leave four lines for your signature atop your printed name. If sending your letter electronically, you can sign your name on a piece of paper, scan it in and create a digital image to insert.
Choose a professional closing salutation such as, “Sincerely,” “Best regards” or “Thank you for your consideration.” Avoid overly familiar phrases like, “Yours,” “Cheers” or “Take care.”
Beneath your name, repeat your contact information, especially if you have written more than one page — though you should try to keep your cover letter to one. After all, you want to make it as easy as possible for the hiring manager to contact you.
Also indicate any attachments, enclosures or documents the hiring manager may expect to receive related to your application.
You can also benefit from studying examples of what you shouldn’t do. Resumania™ offers Robert Half’s take on resumes and cover letters that missed the mark. Here are some amusing real-life cover letter closings our company has come across:
“Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you in the new future.”
When is that, exactly?
“All I ask is for you to consider my perspicacious aspiration to become an erudite factotum in your organization.”
Well, we are in need of a good erudite factotum.
“Finally, as an overview, I love to collaborate to enlighten direction based on targetted markets.”
You’re off “target” with this statement.
“Please, before you blow me off as ‘overqualified,’ understand that what I am overqualified for is being a department-store greeter.”
“Making me an addition to this workforce will not be a problem.”
We’re not so sure about that.
This last embarrassing typo is from a job candidate whose first name is Doug:
Cattiness is his biggest pet peeve.
As with other parts of the cover letter, the close should be informative, concise and correct. Bad grammar, punctuation errors, typos or misspellings might be all the incentive a hiring manager needs to toss your application aside for lacking attention to detail. Don’t rely on spell-check. Proofread your submission carefully, and get someone else to look at it as well. A well-thought-out final statement can help you “close” the deal.
Check out these essential cover letter tips from Robert Half now!