Wrap it Up: Here’s How to End a Cover Letter
Not sure how to end a cover letter? Check out our expert resume writers’ tips on writing a closing, including how to draft a strong conclusion paragraph, what kind of tone to keep in mind, key items you should include, and what you should keep out.
By: Sheyene Joubert | Contributor for Let’s Eat, Grandma
Crafting a cover letter may seem daunting at first. Questions like “What exactly should I say? Do I sound natural?” might fill your head. Luckily, we’ve got you covered! (Get it?)
This blog post will help you with a specific struggle for many job seekers: How to wrap up your cover letter. We’ll walk you through drafting a strong conclusion paragraph, what kind of tone to keep in mind, some key items to include, and what not to include.
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Why a Strong Closing is Important
Many recruiters and hiring managers use cover letters to determine which applicant is the best culture fit and which to choose to interview between a select few.
Just like in a presentation, speech, or a business deal, you always want to finish your communication with something that leaves a solid and lasting final impression. (Think of an inspiring public speaker or a salesperson who ends their call with a firm declaration of how much they believe in the product). That’s the same reason why it’s crucial to end your cover letter right.
The closing paragraph of your cover letter gives you an extra opportunity to express your enthusiasm for the position and highlight key skills that align with your skillset and the job posting.
So let’s walk through how to end your cover letter to give a lasting impression.
Attract Positive Attention with the Right Tone
As a job seeker, you don’t want to attract the wrong kind of attention with your cover letter. It’s important to emphasize the valuable skillset you will bring to the role without coming across the wrong way. And you want to make sure you don’t sound generic either. This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your voice as a professional.
Although your tone will vary slightly depending on your industry, we recommend your cover letter maintain a confident, respectful voice throughout. For example, if you’re an executive, you must come across as mature and powerful, as you share some of the lessons you’ve learned in your long career.
Avoid sounding pushy at all costs, for this may cause you to stand out like a sore thumb. Hiring managers want to bring in people who sound excited about the role and who will mesh with their company culture.
What to Write in Your Conclusion Paragraph
You only have one page for your cover letter, so it’s best to keep the concluding paragraph short, sweet, and to the point. A few things that will help you write a solid ending to your cover letter are:
- Being concise by pinpointing a few skills you offer
- Directly asking for the interview
- Cutting out unnecessary fluff
Let’s explore each of these in more detail.
How to Stay Concise as You End Your Cover Letter
In one or two short sentences in your conclusion, you can summarize two key skills that you touched on in your cover letter and how these will benefit the role you’re applying for. This will effectively remind the recruiter/hiring manager as they finish reading (or more accurately, skimming) of the main strengths you have as a candidate.
A recent client I had was looking to get back into IT at a director level. Here’s what we came up with for one of his final sentences:
“I welcome the opportunity to discuss how my skills in risk assessment, project management, and team leadership can add value to the [Company] team.”
This sums up not just his expertise but also specific skills required in each of the job postings he provided me. (Remember, it’s always crucial to refer back to the job descriptions when creating your resume and cover letter.)
How to Ask for an Interview
This is another must-have element that our professional writers always recommend including in the closing paragraph. Beyond showing off how well your personality would mesh with company culture, the ultimate goal of a cover letter is to get an interview, so why not just ask?
By initiating the interview conversation, you’re demonstrating your tenacious, go-getter mentality and leaving that memorable final impression we talked about at the beginning.
However, there are several variables to consider when asking for the interview in your concluding paragraph. That’s why we suggest you use these three practical techniques to make a concise ask at the end of your cover letter:
- Provide contact information. Although your contact information should also go at the top of your cover letter in the header that matches your resume, it may also be helpful to incorporate your phone number and/or email address into the closing sentence as another helpful reminder that reinforces your ask.
- Offer availability. You can offer specific periods of availability that work for you (e.g., “I am available for a phone call Monday-Friday after 5 p.m.”). This shows you’re thinking ahead and carving out time to learn more about this role.
- Be clear. Make sure your interview inquiry is direct and clear! A simple sentence like “I look forward to discussing what my background can bring to the team at Company A in greater detail with you during an interview” is concise and professional.
Here’s an example of a cover letter I recently furnished for a client:
This closing paragraph not only displays the applicant’s excitement for getting back into the IT field, but also how to best contact them for an interview. It is straightforward without feeling overbearing. Several clients of mine have been successful when framing their cover letters this way. If you need more ideas for specific wording to use, you can find a handful of examples here.
Keep in mind that while requesting an interview on your cover letter or in person won’t always earn you an interview, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
What Not to Include
A handful of my clients don’t know where to start with cover letters. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of things not to include at the end of your cover letter for you to double-check against what you’ve written.
- What you want
This document isn’t about what you want. You shouldn’t include phrases about why you want the better hours, benefits, or pay in this job (just like why you shouldn’t have an objective statement on your resume). Instead, your cover letter should paint a picture of what you have to offer the company, and how you can positively contribute should you get the job.
- Information not related to the job
Keep in mind that the job description is your friend. It tells you exactly what the recruiter or hiring manager is looking for, which is why you shouldn’t include details that aren’t relevant. Empty language or unspecific accomplishments can distract the reader from your intentions. Focus on why your qualifications make you best suited for the position.
- Your salary requirements
This should only be discussed over the phone, face to face, or in a Zoom meeting because it is sensitive information. Plus, if this isn’t included in the job posting, there may be a field for you to fill out your salary expectations on the application form; read more about to best answer that question here. And if you want to learn more about how to negotiate your salary once you’re in that discussion with the employer, check out this blog!
- Negative comments about past employers
Again, your cover letter has limited space, and it isn’t a good idea to waste space describing why you didn’t get along at a previous company. You want to talk about why you’re the right person for the role. Comments like this raise a red flag for potential employers as they could indicate possible attitude or performance issues.
- Anything that’s untrue
Sometimes it can be easy to stretch the truth in a document like this, but please don’t. It’s important to use the title you were given at a previous job, state the right dates, and to highlight (current) certifications you actually possess. People still fact-check work history and contact references.
I know what you’re thinking: “Some of these are so obvious.” You’re right. But you might be surprised to hear that a lot of our tips aren’t apparent to our clients – that’s why they decide to hire us!
How to Sign Off at the End of a Cover Letter
I want the cover letters I write for clients to be as authentic as possible. This means I rely on the cover letters they submit during the intake process and our email exchanges to see how they sign off/close. In case you aren’t sure what to use on your cover letter, I’ve compiled a few options that are appropriate for formal correspondence:
- With best regards
- Kind regards
- Thank you
Of course, there are some ways you don’t want to use when signing off your cover letter, such as the following:
- Yours truly/faithfully
- Take it easy
- Abbreviations (i.e., “Thx”)
- Any emoji
- “Sent from my phone”
The first three examples are just too casual for this type of document. While you don’t want to come off as uptight, you still want to demonstrate that you take this process seriously. The last three examples are definite no-nos because they don’t spell out full words, use graphics, or show you weren’t paying enough attention to erase your phone’s automatic signature.
Another thing to mention when signing off your cover letter is whether or not to leave a blank space for your signature between your closing and your typed name. Since we’re living in a digital, remote work world, it isn’t common to actually sign your cover letter anymore. We’d recommend leaving a blank space only if you’re handing in a hard copy document.
Ready to Get Started?
Job searching can be stressful, but creating your application documents doesn’t have to be! Now that you understand how to end a cover letter, the significance of tone and phrasing, and some content ideas for the concluding paragraph, we hope you feel more confident about writing your cover letter.
When I’m writing anything – from short stories to ad copy to resumes – I think about what I’d like to read, what would move me. You should draw inspiration from those same questions.
If you appreciated these tips and feel like you need more assistance in writing documents that will land you an interview, find out how we can help!
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