Now Reading
How to Sign a Letter Correctly?

How to Sign a Letter Correctly?Updated on October 20, 2020 | Published on September 25, 2019

How to sign a letter correctly?

I am sure the first thought to cross your mind when you read the subject of this article is that “Who communicates via writing letters these days?” Isn’t it? But, let me tell you letter writing is an important soft skill, in personal as well as professional life. This letter need not be the usual pen and paper jazz, it could be an email as well. What we are trying to say is that the means of sending written communication may have evolved but the idea of writing it down is still vital.

Unlike face to face communication, when you are writing a letter, you need to visualize the other person’s thought process to understand their reaction and accordingly put up a convincing argument. Be it business communication or a personal letter, the signature does make a big difference. Therefore, it is important to know how to sign or close the letter correctly.

Unlike face to face communication, when you are writing a letter, you need to visualize the other person’s thought process to understand their reaction and accordingly put up a convincing argument. Be it business communication or a personal letter, the signature does make a big difference. Therefore, it is important to know how to sign or close the letter correctly.

Who is the letter addressed to?

Writing a letter does not always mean that you are going to send it by post. Given the evolution of technology, you could be writing a letter to an email address as well. Irrespective of the means of sending the letter, you must know a few basic details about the recipient on the other side. After all, your signature has to be customized according to the recipient. For instance, a business letter or formal business communication addressed to some senior management personnel will be signed differently when compared to the cover letter for your prospective employer or a postcard to a close friend.

TIP
A good idea would be to consider the purpose of the letter as well. For instance, if you are writing to seek a recommendation, you have to keep it professional. But if you are praising a colleague that you know really well, the tone can be friendly.

How to Sign a Letter? – 4 Tips


1) Remind them to respond

Remind them to respond
Remind them to respond

SUMMARY
Imagine that you have written a detailed letter explaining your situation/idea. But you need to remind the recipient to respond else all the effort is a lost cause.

One of the ways of signing or closing a letter is to remind the recipient to respond. Of course, you are expected to do this in an extremely polite way. Your short concluding note could start by thanking the recipient for sparing the time to read your letter and then nudge them to share their views on the matter. This simple tip is often helpful in a business letter or a formal letter.

How to Sign a Letter Correctly?
How to Sign a Letter Correctly?

2) Sign with details

Sign with details
Sign with details

SUMMARY
Many times, people prefer to sign letters with their names only. But this can leave the recipient confused. What if they want to get back to you for a certain query? You have left them with no contact information.

When you are signing a letter, ensure that you mention a few basic details that can help the person on the other side to reach out to you. Sometimes they may need a simple clarification. But having contact details is an assurance that the letter is from a reliable source. If you are not comfortable sharing contact details, you can share your email address as well.

CAUTION
A signature at the end is important but that does not mean you should load it with too much detail. If your signature has too many details, there is a possibility that the reader will end up forgetting the purpose of the letter by the time they reach the end.

3) Formatting is important

Formatting is important
Formatting is important

SUMMARY
The format of the text in your letter will speak volumes about the importance that you are giving to the communication.

When you write a formal business letter on paper or over email, you need to adhere to a certain level of standardization for the text format. For instance, if you are writing the letter over email, there is a standard format that you are expected to follow. Ideally, you should keep a one-line space between the closing sentence and your signature. Multiple lines of space should be avoided. This adds the much-needed break indicating the closure and gives you enough space to format your signature as well.

4) Add a complimentary letter closing

Add a complimentary letter closing
Add a complimentary letter closing

SUMMARY
The complimentary closing follows the formal closing and is usually just about two words.

This is a short closing followed by your signature. The important thing to remember is that a complimentary closing for a formal and personal letter is very different. For instance, if you are writing to a friend, you may close the letter with a ‘Cheers!’. If you are writing to an elder in the family, you may use ‘Warm regards’. But when you are writing a professional letter to an unknown person, you may want to rely on ‘Sincerely’. Even in a two-word closing, you only need to capitalize the first letter. This closing adds a personal touch to the communication thereby improving its ability to impact the recipient.

Concluding Note

The last few lines or the closure of your written communication is crucial. It is your final chance to leave the impression that can lead to a decision in your favor. Therefore, you should not hesitate to give it some thought before you send that letter.