Tricky Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid
Cover letter mistakes trip up even the most seasoned professionals. But don't panic. Think of your cover letter like a handshake—it's how you introduce yourself to employers when you apply for a job. Like a good handshake , you want your cover letter to be strong, succinct, and make a great first impression.
This isn't a part of the job application process you want to skimp on, either. A cover letter allows you to go into more detail than your resume allows, explain gaps in your employment history or your need for a career change , and make a case as to why you would be a great fit for the position. And knowing how to write a great cover letter can open the door to scoring an interview and, ultimately, landing a job.
Make sure your first impression is a good and lasting one by avoiding these common mistakes below when writing a cover letter.
Top Cover Letter Mistakes
1. overusing "i".
Your cover letter is not your autobiography. The focus should be on how you meet an employer's needs, not on your life story. Avoid the perception of being self-centered by minimizing your use of the word "I," especially at the beginning of your sentences.
2. Using a Weak Opening
When writing a cover letter, job seekers frequently struggle with the cover letter's opening . This difficulty often results in a feeble introduction lacking punch and failing to grab the reader's interest. Consider this example:
- Weak: Please consider me for your sales representative opening.
- Better: Your need for a top-performing sales representative is an excellent match to my three-year history as a top-ranked, multimillion-dollar producer.
3. Omitting Your Top Selling Points
A cover letter is a sales letter that sells you as a candidate. Just like your resume, it should be compelling and give the main reasons you should be called for an interview. Winning cover letter tips include emphasizing your top accomplishments or creating subheadings culled from the job posting. For example:
- Your ad specifies: Communication skills I offer: Five years of public speaking experience and an extensive background in executive-level report.
- Your ad specifies: The need for a strong computer background I offer: Proficiency in all MS Office applications with additional expertise in website development and design.
4. Making It Too Long
If your cover letter exceeds one page, you may be putting readers to sleep. A great cover letter is concise but compelling, and respects the reader's time.
5. Repeating Your Resume Word for Word
This is one of the most common cover letter mistakes to watch out for. Your cover letter shouldn't regurgitate what's on your resume. Reword your cover letter statements to avoid dulling your resume's impact. Consider using the letter to tell a brief story, such as "my toughest sale" or "my biggest technical challenge."
6. Being Vague
If you're replying to an advertised opening—as opposed to writing a cold cover letter —reference the specific job title in your cover letter. The person reading your letter may be reviewing hundreds of letters for dozens of different jobs. Make sure all of the content in your letter supports how you will meet the employer's specific needs.
7. Forgetting to Customize
If you're applying to a number of similar positions, chances are you're tweaking one letter and using it for multiple openings. That's fine, as long as you customize each letter . Don't forget to update the company, job and contact information—if Mr. Jones is addressed as Ms. Smith, he won't be impressed.
8. Ending on a Passive Note
When possible, put your future in your own hands with a promise to follow up . Instead of asking readers to call you, try a statement like this: I will follow up with you in a few days to answer any preliminary questions you may have. In the meantime, you may reach me at (555) 555-5555.
9. Being Rude
Your cover letter should thank the reader for his or her time and consideration.
10. Forgetting to Sign the Letter
It is proper business etiquette (and shows attention to detail) to sign your letter. Err on the side of formality, and if you need any help figuring out how to close your cover letter, consider these possible sign-offs . However, if you are sending an email cover letter and resume, a signature isn't necessary.
Now, About Your Resume
Now that you know how to duck and dodge cover letter mistakes, it's time to double-check that your resume is free of embarrassing (and damaging) errors and weaknesses. Need some help? Get a free resume evaluation today from the experts at Monster's Resume Writing Service . You'll get detailed feedback in two business days, including a review of your resume's appearance and content, and a prediction of a recruiter's first impression. It's a quick and easy way to strengthen your selling points to a hiring manager and help you get the job.
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Home » Student Lawyer Blog » Jobs » Ask The Hiring Attorney: Do I have to sign a cover letter that’s electronically delivered?
Ask The Hiring Attorney: Do I have to sign a cover letter that’s electronically delivered?
Shauna Bryce • April 12, 2018
Q: I know I’m supposed to sign my cover letters when I mail them out. But what do I do when emailing or uploading a cover letter?
A: In the pre-internet days, job applications and inquiries were sent by snail mail or fax. Candidates printed their resumes on quality office stationery and hand-signed their cover letters.
Today, most employers are allowing job candidates to submit their resumes electronically—whether by email or by uploading their application package into an online database. In many cases, employers require the candidate’s resume to be uploaded but also allow candidates to attach other documents like a cover letter. So job candidates are asking themselves whether a cover letter that’s electronically delivered needs to be signed, just like a cover letter that’s mailed.
The answer is yes. But let’s go through your options.
Option 1 : Don’t sign the cover letter. This option is definitely not recommended. As a job applicant, it’s your responsibility to meet the hiring expectations of the people who will be reviewing your candidacy. An unsigned letter is likely to be perceived as impersonal or unprofessional by hiring professionals—many of whom do not want generic cover letters but rather expect signed, personalized business correspondence from job applicants that demonstrate genuine interest .
Option 2 : “Sign” the cover letter using the common symbol for electronic signature, /s/. I don’t recommend this option either, for pretty much the same reasons as option 1.
Option 3 : Print the cover letter, sign it, scan it, and then email or upload the pdf or jpeg. This option solves the problem of having a letter that’s impersonal. However, the quality of scanned documents is sometimes poor. The document image might be skewed, the print faded, or some other problem might occur, leaving you without a pristine cover letter to introduce you to the employer.
Option 4 : Upload and insert a scanned signature onto the cover letter. This is the best solution, producing the highest quality document for you to send to employers. To get a high-quality scanned signature, you need to produce an extra large signature that will shrink down well. Use 5 fresh, letter-sized pieces of white paper. Use a black, Sharpie-type pen (not a ballpoint). On each piece of paper, write out your signature much larger than you normally would, say 6 by 8 inches. Scan each of the signatures and save as either a pdf or a jpeg. Compare the image files. Which signature scanned the best? Where is your signature most fluid and natural? Crop your favorite file as needed to eliminate some of the white space. Insert the cropped image into the Microsoft Word doc of your cover letter and shrink it to fit your signature block. Save the document as a pdf.
Voila! You now have a perfect, personally signed version of your cover letter ready to email or upload!
A version of this article was originally published by Bloomberg Finance L.P. Reprinted with permission. The opinions expressed are those of the a
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Home Cover Letter Help How to Sign a Cover Letter
How to Sign a Cover Letter
Wondering how to end your cover letter? Whether you’re sending your letter as an email or uploading it to a job application portal, we’ve got you covered so you can sign your cover letter the right way.
If you want to maximize your chances of landing a job, it’s important to pay attention to even the smallest details when writing your cover letter . That’s why you should know how to properly sign your cover letter.
In this article, we break down everything you need to know about adding a professional cover letter signature.
Do you need to sign a cover letter?
No, you don’t need to sign a cover letter. However, signing your cover letter shows an extra level of professionalism and attention to detail that can help make a positive first impression on employers.
If you’re not sure whether or not to add a cover letter signature, here’s a quick rundown to help you decide how to end your cover letter :
Read on to find out how to correctly sign and close your cover letter.
How to sign a cover letter
You should always place your cover letter signature at the end of your cover letter after your sign-off (for example, “Sincerely,”) in business letter format .
Signing a cover letter sent by email
When signing an email cover letter , you don’t need to provide a handwritten signature. Simply write your full name at the end of the email, using the same cover letter font you use for the rest of your cover letter.
The proper format of an email cover letter signature looks like this:
Regards, [First Name] [Last Name] [Email Address] [Phone Number]
Although you should have already provided your contact details in your resume and your cover letter header , you can add them to your email signature to make sure they’re easy to find.
Examples of email cover letter closings
Here are some examples of how to sign off on an email cover letter:
Best Regards, Hector Lopez [email protected] (812) 876-6721
Sincerely, Maria Smith 763 Main Street, North Oxford, MA 01540 [email protected] (812) 745-6721
Regards, Samuel Liao [email protected] (147) 369-1701 www.linkedin.com/sliao www.samuelliao.com
How to sign a paper cover letter
Though less common, sometimes you need to mail your cover letter. You should always sign a cover letter sent by mail because it’s more professional, and requires little effort.
Here’s how to sign a printed-out cover letter:
- Leave two to three lines of blank space between your cover letter sign-off and your full name
- Print your cover letter, and sign your name using black ink in that blank space
You don’t need to include your contact information underneath your signature on a printed-out cover letter because most cover letter templates already have space at the top for this information.
Here’s how handwritten signatures should look at the end of a cover letter:
How to provide an electronic cover letter signature
A cover letter attachment is a cover letter either uploaded on a job portal or attached to an email. This is different from an email cover letter, which is written in the body of an email.
Wondering how you should sign a cover letter sent as an attachment? You can either:
- Type your name
- Attach a scan of your signed cover letter
- Electronically sign your cover letter using Adobe Sign , or other software like:
- OneSpan Sign
How to sign a cover letter in Word
If you’re attaching your cover letter as a Word document and want to add a personal touch to your cover letter, you can easily sign it by adding a handwritten signature digitally in a few simple steps:
First, you’ll need to create the image of your signature you want to insert at the end of your cover letter. To do this, sign a blank piece of paper and scan the page onto your computer. Save it under a common file format like .JPG or .PNG.
Next, on the Insert tab in your Word document, click Pictures > Picture from File . Select the picture of the signature you want to insert and click Insert .
You’ll have the option to crop the image to the desired size by selecting the Crop option in the Picture Tools Format tab. This tab will automatically open once you’ve inserted the picture into your Word document.
Then, right-click the image and Save as Picture to save it as a separate file.
When you’re ready to sign your cover letter, click the Insert tab again, go into Pictures , and select your signature with Picture from File .
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Written by Dominique Vatin
Dominique is a Content Writer at Resume Genius, where she enjoys crafting content to better equip job seekers. She graduated from Yonsei GSIS in Korea with a Master's... more
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How to Sign a Cover Letter (With Signature Examples)
Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.
- Do You Need to Sign a Cover Letter?
- Sign Uploaded or Printed Cover Letters
- Cover Letter Signatures Examples
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Which Email Address to Use
How to add a digital signature, need more cover letter help.
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When writing a cover letter to include with your resume, it's important to pay attention to every detail, since you only get one chance to make that first impression. So, what exactly should you include in your signature when you're writing your cover letter to apply for a job?
It varies, depending on how you apply for the position. The format and information included in your signature will change according to whether you are mailing, uploading, or emailing your cover letter document.
Does Your Cover Letter Need a Written Signature?
When distributing your cover letter online by emailing it or uploading it onto a company’s web portal, it is not necessary to hand sign your cover letter. Employers don’t expect to see your handwritten signature on your cover letter. You could add a scanned image of your signature to your document, but it is optional and not required.
How To Sign an Uploaded or Printed Cover Letter
Uploaded Letter: If you're uploading your cover letter to a job site, your signature will simply include an appropriate closing phrase and your full name. Place a comma after your close, such as Best, or Sincerely yours, and then insert your name in the line below.
Use a formal business-style letter format that includes a heading, salutation, the body of the letter, closing phrase, and your signature. Review these guidelines for what to include in your letter .
Hard Copy Letter: When you're printing a hard copy letter, include a closing phrase, your handwritten signature, and your typed full name. Leave several spaces between the closing phrase and your typed name. That way, you'll have room for your signature when you print out the letter. Sign it using either blue or black ink.
Signature Examples for Uploaded or Printed Letters
For uploaded or hard copy printed letters, there is no need to include as much information as you would in an email message, because the heading of your cover letter includes your contact information.
Signature Example (uploaded letter)
Signature Format (signed letter)
First Name Last Name
Signature Example (signed letter)
Janet Dolan (Your Signature)
What to Include in an Email Signature
If you are emailing your cover letter or inquiry letter, end with a polite sign-off followed by your full name. There is no need to sign a cover letter that's being sent electronically. Write out your full name in the same font as the rest of the letter, and don't use italics or a handwriting font.
The formatting here is very similar to that in an uploaded cover letter. However, emails do not contain a header with your phone number or other contact information.
It's a good idea to include these details in your closing paragraph or after your typed signature. That makes it easy for the employer or networking contact to get in touch with you.
You can also include links to online portfolios, if appropriate, or a link to your professional social media accounts, such as LinkedIn or Twitter.
You don't want to make this section too cluttered, so restrict yourself to the most relevant information. Here's how to set up an email signature, along with more advice on what to include in it and what to leave out.
Signature Examples for Emailed Documents
When you are sending email cover letters , it's important to include contact information so the hiring manager can easily see how to contact you. At the very least, include your name, email address, and phone number. You can also add other optional information, such as your street address, online portfolio, or social media accounts.
Email Signature Format
Your Name Email Phone
Email Signature Example
Karina Hoffman firstname.lastname@example.org 555-123-5678
Sample Email Signature With Full Address
Your Name Street City, State Zip Code Email Phone
Sample Email Signature With Social Media Handles
Your Name Email Phone LinkedIn Profile (Optional) Twitter Account (Optional)
Don't use your work email address for job searching. Use your personal email account, or set up a unique account to use just for your job hunt. Many free online email services exist, like Gmail and Yahoo Mail, which you can use to set up a new email account exclusively for your job search.
Even though you are using a personal account, choose an email address that looks professional.
Your best bet is some variation on first initial, last name (e.g., email@example.com) or first name, last name (firstname.lastname@example.org). Here's how to set up an email account just for your job search.
Adding a handwritten signature is an optional touch, though definitely not required, and it is possible to add your handwritten signature digitally. The simplest way is to use a scanner or a scanner app on your smartphone:
Simply sign a piece of printer paper and then scan the page.
After scanning, the software will give you the opportunity to crop the scanned image (that is, cut the image down to the size of your written signature) or you can crop it in Word.
Once you’ve cropped your signature image to the appropriate size, save your signature as a .gif, .jpg, or .png file to your desktop or a folder on your computer.
Open the Word document where you composed your cover letter and then insert the image of your signature into the document underneath your closing phrase.
Remember to type your name below your handwritten signature.
Get information on how to write a cover letter , including what to include in your cover letter, cover letter format, targeted cover letters, and cover letter samples and examples.
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ResumeCoach » Blog » Professional Letters » How to Sign a Cover Letter
How to Sign a Cover Letter
When writing a resume cover letter you should focus on each aspect. One of these key aspects is the conclusion of your cover letter. A good ending to a cover letter includes a proper cover letter signature . How you sign off your cover letter is crucial as it will either leave the prospective employer with a positive, professional first impression .
Choosing how to sign off a cover letter the right way depends on a few factors, such as the cover letter format of your email. However, in general, it’s better to remain formal and professional . You can be positive and even friendly, but avoid casual language such as “thanks”, “cheers”, or “take care”.
If you get it wrong by making a small mistake or by using inappropriate language in your cover letter ending , you risk leaving the wrong impression on the hiring manager. As employers receive so many applications for each position , this can be enough for yours to be discounted.
The signature on your cover letter is a crucial part of your cover letter that you need to nail. Ensure you sign your cover letter the right way and leave the hiring manager with a fantastic impression. Check out the information below to ensure you know how to conclude your cover letter in the best way possible .
How to sign a cover letter when emailing
Emailing job applications, including cover letters and resumes, is the new normal. Regarding the conclusion of your cover letter, you may be asking yourself, “do I need to sign a cover letter that is submitted electronically ?”
You need to have the proper sign-off when you conclude your cover letter, even by email.
It’s essential to know how and where to sign a cover letter if you are emailing it to a hiring manager. Use a professional sign-off (such as sincerely, sincerely yours, best regards, or most sincerely) at the end of the letter, followed by your full name written underneath. Doing so makes your cover letter and job application that much more effective.
If you’re emailing a cover letter with a signature you should use a professional sign off (such as sincerely, sincerely yours, best regards or most sincerely) followed by your full name written underneath .
You don’t need to sign the letter by hand when signing a cover letter electronically . Also avoid using italics or an alternative font as this can look childish. Just write your full name in the same font as the rest of the letter .
It’s also essential to clearly include your contact details when you sign off a resume cover letter . It would be a tragedy if you nailed your cover letter , spent time tailoring your resume using a resume builder , and then the employer didn’t know how to contact you .
An easy, time-effective way of doing this is by setting up an email signature . You should include your name, telephone number, email address and a link to your LinkedIn profile (and any other useful links which may help your application).
Closing signature examples
Here are some examples of how to sign a cover letter electronically . The first example contains the very least you should include (name, email address, and phone number). The third is the ideal example of how to sign a cover letter via email .
Mary Washington [email protected] 70997654
Mary Washington 17 Cherry Tree Lane, Portland, Oregon, 97035. [email protected] 70997654
Mary Washington 17 Cherry Tree Lane, Portland, Oregon, 97035. [email protected] 70997654 www.linkedin.com/marywashington www.personalwebsite.com
Examples of Bad Signatures on Cover Letters
Including this part of a cover letter is essential , and doing it well can give your chances of being hired a serious boost. However, there are things you should avoid writing in your cover letter signature. In a cover letter, you as an applicant have a chance to show off some of your personality, but that does not mean you can be too casual .
Here are some examples of words you should avoid writing when you are signing off your cover letter:
- Best wishes
- Take it easy
It is also a good idea to not use abbreviations of words, such as “thx”. Also, erase any messages that are automatically included by your cell phone. Delete messages such as “Sent from my x phone” before sending.
How to sign a paper cover letter
Though it is becoming less common , you may need to either mail a cover letter or upload one to a website. In these cases, you should leave enough space between the sign-off and your full name to include a handwritten signature . After printing your cover letter you should sign your name using black ink .
For written cover letters you should use a formal business cover letter format which includes your contact details and those of the employer at the top of the page, as well as a heading and salutation . As you include your contact details at the top, there is no need to include them with your signature as you would in an email.
Though the importance of signing a cover letter shouldn’t be underestimated, how to end a cover letter is only one part of your application. Read more cover letter advice for information on writing the other parts of your cover letter and also spend time researching how to write a resume . Using resume templates is an effective way of producing professional-looking results quickly.
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Examples of How to End a Cover Letter
Examples of how not to end a cover letter, does your cover letter need a written signature, how to sign an uploaded or printed cover letter, cover letter signature examples, how to sign an emailed cover letter, signature examples for emailed documents, final thoughts.
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With so many applicants competing for the same job, you want to make sure every element of your application leaves the right impression . Regardless of your letter’s contents, an improper closing section conveys a sense of unprofessionalism and ruins the entire application. This article will show you exactly how to sign and end your cover letter professionally — so you leave a positive impression rather than a negative one. Key Takeaways: The end of your cover letter is what will create your final impression, so it’s important to summarize what makes you a good fit for the job, convey confidence, and thank the reader . Avoid more casual phrases and avoid using exclamation points; express excitement about the job without slipping into less formal prose. To be as professional as possible, you might want to physically sign your cover letter if you’re giving someone a hard copy, or use a digital signature for an electronic submission. How to End a Cover Letter
Your cover letter should maintain a professional and formal tone throughout. This is especially true for the closing, as it’s the section that leaves a final impression on the reader.
“Formal” doesn’t require that you’re robotic and cold. Feel free to be friendly or positive, but always avoid casual language. Don’t use “thanks” or “cheers”, and avoid acronyms.
Every effective cover letter closing accomplishes three goals:
Summarizes your strengths. Sum up the relevant skills and qualifications you’ve mentioned and explain how you can bring value to the company.
Shows confidence and initiative. A generic cover letter closing such as “I look forward to your reply” will be read as nothing more than an empty courtesy.
Stand-out and convey a more action-oriented tone, with a line such as : “I look forward to discussing with you how my skills can create value and solutions for the team.”
Thank the reader. Be sure to show appreciation and offer thanks to the reader for their time and consideration.
As always, remain professional rather than casual. Avoid phrases such as “Cheers” or “Yours.”
While reading the following examples, note how they achieve the three goals:
Conveys initiative and confidence
Thanks the reader
“I believe my six years of experience as a marketing specialist , specifically in the food industry, will be a perfect match for this role. I look forward to speaking with you on how my skills can bring value to the team. Thank you for considering my application.”
“With my extensive software engineering experience, I believe I can develop effective technical solutions for your firm. I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss with you how my qualifications can contribute to the team’s success. Thank you for your time.”
“With my eight years of experience as managing director of similar projects, I am confident I can provide insight and value towards your firm’s goals. I would love the chance to speak with you on the position and what skills I could bring. Thank you for your consideration.”
“I am fascinated by your firm’s approach to creating effective user experiences. I would be delighted to discuss with you how I could leverage my ten years of UX experience to upgrade your solutions even further. Thank you for considering my application.”
“I look forward to any chance to speak about the position and what I can bring to the firm. I believe my personal values and extensive experience in the medical research field would make me a great fit for your organization. I appreciate your time and consideration.”
See if you can spot the more subtle errors in the next few examples.
“I believe my eight years of experience as a commercial trucker , especially in long-haul, will be a great match for this role. I look forward to speaking with you on how my skills can bring value to the team.”
“I look forward to an opportunity to discuss with you the position. I greatly appreciate your time and consideration.”
“With my two years of experience as a sales representative , I am confident I can provide the necessary qualifications and skills. Thank you for considering my application.”
While they thanked the reader and summarized their abilities, the writer offered no call to action for the reader to follow-up with them.
It’s commonly asked if it’s really required to end cover letters with a handwritten signature. The answer is it depends on your letter’s format.
Cover letters written on paper should always include a handwritten signature. Doing so is considered proper business etiquette, and forgetting to do so will be seen as unprofessional by recruiters .
Even if the particular reader of your letter doesn’t care, it’s smart to err on the side of caution.
For cover letters delivered through email, a signature isn’t required. However, there’s no harm in creating an electronic signature to add a touch of professionalism.
Keep reading to see exactly how you should sign both an emailed and printed cover letter.
The formal rules for how to write a cover letter may seem numerous and pointless, but it’s important to follow them to avoid standing out as unprofessional amongst other applicants following them.
Most cover letters are emailed these days. However, you might find yourself needing to upload or mail a printer cover letter and wonder how to sign it.
In these cases, a handwritten signature would be included between the sign-off and your printed full name. Keep this in mind when you’re typing it out so you remember to leave enough room.
Your signature should always be written in black ink. The sign-off should always use professional language. Use the same font as the rest of your cover letter and avoid using italics. Consider the following choices:
Avoid casual sign-offs such as:
There is never really any reason to use a sign-off other than the proper four listed above. Just as is the case for greetings such as ” Dear Hiring Manager ” or “ Dear Sir Or Madam ,” using uncommon sign-offs just isn’t worth the risk.
The cover letter should be formatted single-spaced throughout, with an additional space between sections. This includes between your closing paragraph and sign-off. If your contact details are not written in the header, include them after your name.
Here we’ll provide you both a template and a visual example to help you sign your own printed cover letter. Note the spacing used in these examples.
“….thank you for considering my application.” [Sincerely, Best Regards] [Written signature in black ink] [Your full name (typed)] [Your e-mail address] [Tel:(including country/area code)]
“…thank you for considering my application.” Sincerely, Alex Loizos [email protected] (555) 333 2222
Emailed cover letters do not need a handwritten signature. However, doing so adds a touch of professionalism and won’t hurt your letter.
An emailed letter with a signature looks the exact same as a printed one, except that your signature would be created electronically. Look up how to generate an electronic signature for whatever email service you use.
If you choose to not include a signature, then the rest of the sign-off stays the same. Same single-spacing, with consistent font and no italics.
Visual Example #1:
Visual Example #2:
“…thank you for your time.” Best Regards, Stacy Smith [email protected] (321) 412 2552
The importance of sending a well-written cover letter is underrated. Even with an impressive resume, hiring managers know you as nothing more than a name on a paper and a list of achievements.
Cover letters convey two things that resumes alone cannot: professionalism and initiative.
A discussion of your qualifications and achievements in your letter, followed by an offer for further discussion, is what will lead the recruiter to pick up the phone.
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Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.
Matt Warzel a President of a resume writing firm (MJW Careers, LLC) with 15+ years of recruitment, outplacement, career coaching and resume writing experience. Matt is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing Focus) from John Carroll University.
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Do you have to sign an e-mailed cover letter?
Q. I work for a nonprofit agency. We assist individuals with job searches. Oftentimes a cover letter is required along with a resume. When the instructions say to e-mail the cover letter and resume, is it acceptable to not sign the cover letter?
R. R., Marion, Ill.
A. Cover letters sent in the mail should have a signature. A cover letter sent via e-mail does not need an actual signature, which could be embedded as a picture file. Be sure the cover letter e-mail has a signature block that includes the applicant's name, address, phone number, and e-mail address - all the elements that make it easy to contact the applicant.
When the cover letter and resume are sent by e-mail, they should be embedded in the e-mail as plain text and not sent as attachments, unless the employer specifically requests attachments. When copying the letter or resume to an e-mail, be sure to remove any formatting that word processors might add to make the resume or cover letter look good. Make sure your e-mail looks good and is formatted cleanly by first sending it to yourself and/or a friend. Check it after receiving it to ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Because the resume is embedded in an e-mail, it isn't expected to have any special formatting, just clean, plain text.
Consider following up by sending a printed version of your cover letter and resume by regular mail. Remember, each effort you make that another applicant doesn't helps you to stand out.
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Using a digital signature to spruce up your cover letters.
Most job applications are submitted through the Internet today, either through an online application system or by e-mailing cover letters and resumes as attachments. Sending electronic cover letters is very convenient, but it precludes the applicant’s ability to sign the letter. Unless you want to print out, sign, scan, and then e-mail every single cover letter you write, it’s easier to just send them without a signature.
One way you can make your cover letters stand out is to insert a digital image of your signature. You can create this for yourself at home by neatly signing a piece of paper, scanning it, and cropping the image down to just the size of the signature. There are also Web sites such as www.interfolio.com that will help you create a digital version of your signature. Interfolio allows users to draw their signature with a mouse, or to fax a copy of their handwritten signature. Interfolio then returns a free digital image of your signature via e-mail.
Many online application systems won’t be able to process the digital image of your signature. In those cases, none of the applicants will have any sort of signature on their cover letters. However, for situations where submitting a signed letter is possible, using a digital signature helps you stand out as a professional, technically-competent candidate. Anything that provides a competitive edge is a way to stand out from the crowd and be noticed.
Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, speaker and President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast. She creates high-impact, best-in-class, resumes and cover letters that transform job searches into interviews and ultimately job offers. For more information about professional resume writing or to read more career and job search related articles visit http://www.greatresumesfast.com or call 1.800.991.5187.
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Jessica hernandez, president, ceo & founder of great resumes fast.
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
Hеlpful information. Fortunate me I found үоur website by accident, and I’m stunned why this accident didn’t came about in advance! I bookmarked it.
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The One Thing You Should Never Do on Your Cover Letter
When I was working in Career Services, the thing I got the most questions about was cover letters. No one seemed to know why they needed one, if they needed one, or how to write one.
Your cover letter is an incredibly important part of your application- it shows your potential employer how your resume is connected to their position description. This is exactly why you want all aspects of your cover letter, even the seemingly small details, to be perfect.
In my years working for Career Services, there was one cover letter mistake that would make me cringe every single time I saw it . It’s so small, you might not even give it a second thought. BUT, it’s those details- the ones most people don’t think about- that will make your cover letter stand out.
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No offense, of course, to anyone that does have a cursive font on their cover letter- you didn’t know any better, I understand! What’s important is that you change it. What can you change it to?
You have two options. You can just type your name in the plain font you used for the rest of your cover letter- there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, it’s what most people do. It would look like this: Sincerely, Olivia Sod There is one other option that will make you stand out above everyone else. It takes a little extra time and effort, which is why most people don’t bother to do it. BUT if you do, it’ll totally separate you from the herd of other applicants. Here’s what you do: Sign your best signature on a plain piece of paper. Scan (you can get a docu-scanning app on your phone!) your signature on to your computer and save it. Then, insert that image into the bottom of your cover letter and type your name underneath, just for clarity. BOOM you have your signature on your cover letter! While this isn’t necessary, it does show employers that you took the extra time and effort to put your actual signature on your cover letter. That extra time can go a long way if it means getting you an interview! There you have it- the one thing to never do on your cover letter and my secret tip to fix it! Don’t ever sign your cover letter by typing your name in a cursive font- it’s so, so much better to type it in plain text. OR, if you want to go the extra mile, you can scan your handwritten signature and insert it onto your cover letter. Ready to stop relying on cover letters? Grab my guide on the 10 best strategies to network with confidence and transform your job search!
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You can also use your phone to take a photo of your signature, then crop it and save.
So true! To make sure your image is high quality, you can download an app that will turn your photo into a scanned image on your computer!
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How to Sign a Cover Letter: Paper vs Digital
- Do you need to hand sign your cover letter
- What to include in your cover letter signature
- How to sign a cover letter when emailing
- How to sign a paper cover letter
How to sign a cover letter when it is an attached file
When it comes to your cover letter, you usually have just one chance to make a good first impression.
That’s why you would want to make it all perfect.
You might think that your signature is not important, and it wouldn’t matter what you put there, but you can not be more wrong.§
As employers receive hundreds of resumes for every open job position they have, even the smallest detail might be used against you for the purpose of pre-selection.
So, how to perfect your cover letter signature?
Well, that depends greatly on the method you choose for sending your cover letter. So we are going to explore the 3 cases:
- Signing your email cover letter
- Signing your hard copy cover letter
- Signing your uploaded cover letter
And as we go along, we are going to give you examples for each method .
If you have some doubts about your overall cover letter performance, that would be a good time to learn how to tell a story with your cover letter and build your perfect cover letter .
But if you are ready to dive into the details of your cover letter signature, stick around.
Do you need to hand sign your cover letter?
Every cover letter needs some kind of sign-off with at least a closing phrase and your names.
But apart from that, a hand signature inserted into your cover letter is entirely up to you.
If you are emailing your cover letter, your potential employer would not be expecting a hand signature. However, if you are mailing a physical cover letter, or uploading it, hand signing your cover letter can be a nice touch.
What to include in your cover letter signature?
What you include in your cover letter signature depends on the method you use for sending it over to your potential employer.
However, every cover letter signature should include a closing phrase and your names.
From this point forward, you can include a handwritten signature, or your contact information, depending on the type of cover letter you are sending.
If you have chosen to email your cover letter, it is nice to include your contact information just after your names, but you usually don’t need a handwritten signature.
And if you decide to mail a hard copy of your cover letter, it is a charming touch to include a handwritten signature, but don’t really need the contact information, as it would only clutter the page.
How to sign a cover letter when emailing?
When emailing your cover letter to a potential employer, it is essential for you to list your contact information in the bottom of your email .
At the very least, a hiring manager should be able to find your name, email address, and phone number, but you can also include an address, LinkedIn profile , or a portfolio.
Your contact information is so essential because the hiring manager would need to be able to easily contact you.
It would be a shame if you nailed your cover letter, and build a perfect resume , and the hiring manager has no way to contact you for an interview.
If you want to really nail it, you need to make sure you are sticking to the same font throughout, and not use anything too special in your signature, as it might come across as childish.
Last but not least, send out your cover letter using a professional email address. That does not mean that you need to use your work email address, as that would be a huge mistake.
To get the best result, use a free online email service like Gmail, and set up your email in the format [email protected] .
Just to make things easier on your part, here is how your email signature should look like:
And if you want to add in some additional contacts, you can do so by listing them below these like this:
Sincerely, John Doe [email protected] (555) 555-5555 https://linkedin.com/in/john-doe
How to sign a paper cover letter?
When it comes to a hard copy of your cover letter, you no longer need to list the contact information in your signature. In most cases, both your contact information and that of the employer is listed at the top of the page.
Here, just like in any other cover letter sign-off, you need to add a closing phrase and your names.
What you can add here as a nice touch is including a handwritten signature.
Typically, you would want it to be positioned between the closing phrase and your full name, so make sure you leave enough space between the two for you to sign it after you print it out.
And here is how your paper cover letter sign-off should look like:
Sincerely, (leave enough white space here) Jane Doe
So that when you print it out, you can add in your signature in the blank space.
When you have decided to attach your cover letter to your email, or upload it to a job site, you can only type in a closing phrase and your names, and that would be perfectly fine for a signature.
However, a handwritten signature might really make some good impression on the hiring manager.
If you decide to go for it, you have two options:
- Print out your cover letter with a structure for a hard copy, sign it and then scan it, and you are ready to upload it
- You can sign on a blank piece of paper and scan it, and then insert it into your cover letter digital file
Either way, it would make a good impression.
Just make sure you leave enough blank space for a signature if you go for it.
If you decide to go for the basic version of your cover letter signature, you just need that:
Sincerely, Jane Doe
But if you are determined to add in your handwritten signature, make sure you go for that:
Sincerely, (leave enough white space here)
So that when you print it out, you can add in your signature in the blank space. And from that point forward, you only need to scan it, and you are ready to go.
We are all done, now you know how to get the best out of your cover letter signature.
Let’s go through the most important points once again:
- If you are emailing your cover letter, make sure you list your essential contact information in your email signature, so that it would be easy for the hiring manager to contact you
- If you are sending out a hard copy of your cover letter, you don’t need to list your contact information in the signature, but it is a nice touch to include a handwritten signature
- When you are attaching your cover letter to an email, or uploading it to a website, you can go with the basics – closing phrase and your names, but it is again a nice touch to add your scanned signature to the document
Now upgrade your cover letter signature, and perfect your application documents to get your dream job.
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The correct salutation on a cover letter should always include the word “Dear” followed by the contact person to whom the letter is addressed. This should be followed by either a comma or a colon, then a blank line and the first line of the...
A signature block in a letter tells the reader who the author is, what the author does and how to get in touch with the author. A signature block should be concise and contain only the author’s name, title and contact information, according...
To include two or more signatures on a business letter, the writer should use the plural voice where appropriate and provide two or more spaces for signatures. Signatures may be listed vertically or horizontally, and they should be ranked b...
It is proper business etiquette (and shows attention to detail) to sign your letter. Err on the side of formality, and if you need any help figuring out how to
Option 1: Don't sign the cover letter. This option is definitely not recommended. As a job applicant, it's your responsibility to meet the
When signing an email cover letter, you don't need to provide a handwritten signature. Simply write your full name at the end of the email
If you are emailing your cover letter or inquiry letter, end with a polite sign-off followed by your full name. There is no need to sign a cover
It's not necessary to sign your cover letter, however if you decide do sign it anyway you can easily scan and paste your signature on the electronic document.
You don't need to sign the letter by hand when signing a cover letter electronically. Also avoid using italics or an alternative font as this can look childish.
Cover letters written on paper should always include a handwritten signature. Doing so is considered proper business etiquette, and forgetting
A. Cover letters sent in the mail should have a signature. A cover letter sent via e-mail does not need an actual signature, which could be
Sending electronic cover letters is very convenient, but it precludes the applicant's ability to sign the letter. Unless you want to print out, sign, scan, and
BOOM you have your signature on your cover letter! While this isn't necessary, it does show employers that you took the extra time and effort to put your actual
Every cover letter needs some kind of sign-off with at least a closing phrase and your names. But apart from that, a hand signature inserted