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Written by Charlotte GraingerCharlotte Grainger

How to sign a cover letter: a guide to professional correspondence

9 min read
How to sign a cover letter: a guide to professional correspondence
Artwork by:Antonina Kasyanikova
You’ve created the perfect cover letter, and you’re itching to send it. However, before you do so, there’s one thing to remember. Learning how to sign a cover letter is a must. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.

Crafting an engaging cover letter is the best way to win over the hiring manager. Our expert-backed guide on cover letter writing will give you the inside scoop about how you can get it right. Once you’ve done the bulk of the work, there’s one final consideration. 

How do you sign a cover letter? And, perhaps more importantly, should you even bother? Here at Resume.io, we have the information you need to succeed. Our resources include a rainbow array of career progression guides, cover letter examples, and tips to boot. In the following blog, we will be taking a look at these all-important topics: 

  • How should you sign a cover letter and does it need a signature
  • How to design what type of sign-off to use
  • How signing a cover letter depends on the format

The right way to sign your next cover letter 

First things first, let’s answer the main question: How do you sign a cover letter? 

The format of your cover letter signature is simple. Start with a formal sign-off and your name. Sign-offs include “Kind regards,” “Regards,” and “Best regards.” 

Which you choose will depend on the tone of your cover letter. Make sure the sign-off phrase matches the style of your letter content and conveys your personality as well. 

You can either use your full name, your first initial and last name, or your title and last name. The choice is yours. Here are some examples so you can see what we mean:

Example #1:  Example #2:  Example #3:

Kind regards, 

Jason Smith

Best regards, 

J. Smith


Mr. Smith

Whenever you are signing your cover letter, you can use the above structure. However — as we will discuss later in this blog — you may choose to include additional information. 

Should you have a signature on your cover letter?

The short answer is no. One of the common misconceptions here is that you always need to have a handwritten cover letter signature. We live in a digital world and, often enough, you won’t need to send a physical cover letter to the hiring manager. So, most of the time, it’s perfectly acceptable to use your computer when you’re signing a cover letter. You can type your name out at the bottom of the document or use an electronic signature. 

Of course, if you’re sending out physical cover letters, signing them by hand is a nice touch. While this won’t win you the job interview in itself, it is likely to catch the hiring manager’s attention. Recruiters are hard-wired to favor candidates who go the extra mile. Taking the time to personalize your cover letter with a signature may help you to stand out.

How to decide whether to sign your cover letter: simple advice

Struggling to decide how to sign a cover letter? This decision doesn’t have to be challenging. Here’s a quick breakdown of which sign-off types work for each cover letter format. Whenever you are in doubt here, you can refer back to this easy chart: 

Cover letter format Email cover letter  Cover letter attachment  Physical cover letter
Sign-off type  Typed-out name

Typed name/ 

digital signature 

Typed name/ handwritten signature 

How to sign a cover letter depending on the format

Now that you have the basics down, let’s talk about the logistics of signing a cover letter. First impressions matter when you’re applying for new jobs. Hiring managers spend an average of seven seconds looking at each application. In that small window of time, you need to show them that you are the right person for the job. Chances are, you have the content of your cover letter down. Don’t lose momentum when you get to the sign-off. 

How you sign your cover letter will depend on the format you use. There are three main types we will be looking at — email cover letters, attached cover letters, and physical cover letters. Let’s take a quick look at how you can sign each of them like a pro. 

How to sign an email cover letter

Email cover letters are increasingly popular. In this case, you type your cover letter body directly into your email. One of the big advantages of this type of introductory letter is that you can add hyperlinks to it. If you want to link to your portfolio or LinkedIn page, you can do so in the main part of the text. Some hiring managers prefer this type of letter. 

As a general rule, you should use your typed name as your cover letter signature. Simply end the email cover letter with a quick sign-off and then type out your full name. 

Of course, many people have email signatures already set up on their accounts. That could include your name, your email address, your phone number, and any other important links. Don’t make the mistake of duplicating any information that will appear automatically here. 

Expert tip

Add some extra detail!

Want to improve your email cover letter signature? Below your sign-off and your name, you can include some additional information. For example, you may want to link to your professional portfolio, your social media channels, or even LinkedIn in this space. 

Here’s a quick example of how to structure that: 

Kind regards, 

Jason Smith 

Portfolio | LinkedIn | Twitter 

How to sign an attached cover letter

If you’re emailing the hiring manager or submitting your application via an online portal, you may include a cover letter as an attachment. To do that, you can use our cover letter builder. Save it as a Word document or a PDF and simply upload the file as needed. 

When it comes to how to sign a cover letter, you have two options — you can type out your name as you would with an email cover letter, or use an electronic signature. When you have completed your cover letter, adding a signature is easier than you might imagine. 

For example, you may choose to use third-party software, such as DocuSign, PandaDoc, or SignRequest to get the job done. If you are using a Mac computer, you can also open the PDF in “Preview” and then click “Tools” then “Annotate” and then “Signature” to do it. 

How to sign a physical cover letter

Let’s say you’re going old school and sending a physical cover letter. Now you can simply type out your cover letter signature as you would with an email cover letter. However, if you want to personalize your application letter, you can handwrite your signature. First up, write your cover letter and ensure that you have proofread it before printing it out. Make sure that you add a typed-out sign-off, such as “Kind regards” or “Best regards” at the end.

When you have done that, you can finally put your penmanship skills to good use. You will need to have a decent pen that won’t smudge when writing. Practice your signature before you sign your physical cover letter. Use some scrap paper to give it a whirl. Once you are pleased with it, go ahead and put your John Hancock at the bottom of the page. 

Expert tip

Make your signature original! 

Don’t like your signature? Don’t panic. It doesn’t have to be attractive, it simply has to be unique. In fact, the whole point is to set you apart from the crowd. Even if someone has exactly the same name as you, their signature won’t be the same as yours.

Key takeaways 

  1. When it comes to signing a cover letter, there are three main methods: typing your name, an electronic signature, and a handwritten signature.
  2. Pick the right type for the cover letter format you are using.
  3. Make sure you choose a sign-off such as “Kind regards” at the end.
  4. When writing an email cover letter, you may want to include additional information.
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