Writing a cover letter can feel like a struggle between simply checking all the boxes on your job application and using the opportunity to show what makes you a uniquely qualified candidate. One part of the process that often flies under the radar is how to end a cover letter.
Your cover letter ending should not be underestimated in its ability to help you move forward in the hiring process. After making your case in the previous paragraphs, you need to end your cover letter with a strong call to action to entice the recruiter to invite you for a job interview.
Madeline Mann, an HR leader in the technology industry and creator of Self Made Millennial, says that while no conclusion will save a bad cover letter, it can distinguish you from another good candidate.
It’s all about enthusiasm, according to Madeline. “Companies want people who want them,” she says. If you can draw to the company’s values and show how interested in working with them you are, that’s a substantial advantage. You want to create a lasting impression by incorporating that enthusiasm in your cover letter ending.
A good conclusion, in fact, should reflect the rest of your cover letter.
Set up the end of your cover letter with a strategic middle section
If you want your cover letter ending to be effective, you first need to build momentum. Most recruiters and career coaches agree that by the time you get to the end your cover letter, it needs to possess the following three elements:
- It tells a story about yourself
- It shows your value concretely
- It calls the recruiter to action
Julia Reiter, a career coach based in Toronto, suggests that you lead up to your cover letter ending by showing that you understand the company’s current challenges and are equipped to solve them. This will make your cover letter call to action all the more effective.
Although the job description will give you information about what the company is looking to accomplish, it will not help you distinguish yourself from other applicants. Show the company you are willing to go the extra mile by researching the key industry challenges and the particular issues they might be facing (beyond the obvious ones).
For example, you can read articles from industry-related publications and get acquainted with the numbers and statistics about the particular business areas your company is engaged in. By being aware of the particular issues they are facing, you can more easily make your skillset and experiences relevant.
When you talk about your past experiences and accomplishments, make sure you mention the problems the company is facing. For example, if you are applying for a customer success manager position at a Software-as-a-Service company, a relevant issue might be high churn rates.
Instead of writing something like “my experience in customer success makes me confident I will be a great addition to your team,” write something like “When I worked at XYZ company, I was able to reduce the churn rate by 30%. With this experience and my deep knowledge of B2B consumer psychology, I am prepared to ensure we have one of the lowest churn rates in XYZ industry.”
Ending with a call to action
You may be tempted to write that “I’m looking forward to hearing from you” for your cover letter ending. That isn’t a call to action. For Madeline, the end of a cover letter serves to give one last push and show interest and enthusiasm in a way that stands out.
Likewise, Julia says, “now that the company knows you are aware of their current challenges and are equipped to solve those challenges for them, don’t leave them hanging. Tell them how they can make your skills and experiences a reality on their team. What number can they reach you at for an interview?”
How to end a cover letter (examples)
- “I’m excited to have the opportunity to talk about how I could join your team in its quest for XYZ value. I’m particularly thrilled about XYZ project and would love to know how I can contribute to it.
- “I am keen on meeting with you to see what I can contribute to XYZ company as it moves on in its journey to XYZ goal. I am available at your convenience for a phone call or in-person meeting.”
- “I would love to get your thoughts on what I mentioned. I am happy to hop on a phone call at your earliest convenience to discuss how I can help XYZ company with XYZ issue.”
Mistakes to avoid when ending a cover letter
The mistakes people make when they end their cover letter are often the same ones they made earlier in the piece. However, they can be particularly detrimental to your chances of landing an interview if they constitute the final impression a recruiter has of you.
When ending a cover letter, avoid:
- Making it about yourself instead of the company: use sentence constructions that make the recruiter see how the company is going to benefit from hiring you. For example, try to use “you” or “we” instead of “I.”
- Sounding generic or robotic: we’ve all seen these cover letters that end with the same plain paragraph. If you write one of those, the last impression you’re giving is not different from those given by all other applicants.
- Selling yourself short: the conclusion is your last chance to show off the value you can bring to the company. Emphasize it and use it as a segue into your call to action.
How to end a cover letter with the appropriate salutations
Always remember that recruiters review hundreds of applications for each position. When you are competing with that many candidates, the slightest mistake will disqualify you immediately Although you may not think too much of the salutations, they can hurt your chance of landing an interview.
Make sure your salutations are formal and polite. You should be respectful not only by indicating your appreciation of the recruiter’s time, but also by being concise. Do not overdo your salutations and do not employ informal greetings. “Sincerely,” “Thank you for your consideration,” “kind regards,” are all safe options.
When ending your cover letter, you want to balance confidence, respect, and appreciation.
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Don’t rely on your cover letter
If you’ve applied online, Madeline adds that you should “immediately send an email or a LinkedIn message to let the recruiter know you’ve applied if you submitted your cover letter into an applicant tracking system.”
Madeline also suggests using an email tracking app, like Mailtrack or Email Tracker. This way, you can follow up when you see when and how often a recruiter opened your email.
Read more about how to follow up on a job application here.