You’ve written your cover letter and you’re pretty proud of where you’ve gotten to with it. But what happens when you get to the end? How do you close your cover letter? How do you tie your pitch up, with a nice little bow, to make sure that those potential employers will pick up the phone and call?
I’m so glad you’ve asked. If you think it’s as simple as “yours sincerely”, then you are mistaken, my friend! There is an art to closing off your cover letter and in this post, I’m telling all.
1. Close your cover letter with a summary about why you are suited to this specific role.
Before you sign off, you should provide a short summary and reiterate why you are the most suitable candidate for the role. You might like to provide a sentence or two, tying your skills and experience back to the requirements outlined in the position description or advertisement. But don’t be coy. There is no harm stating clearly why you believe you are suitable for the role and what you have to offer as an employee!
To do this effectively, think about your strongest claim for the role. Do you have specific skills or experience in an industry, software, or situation, that are directly relevant to this position? Perhaps you have a qualification that is highly desired? This is what you should point to in your close. Try to keep your final statement as specific as possible. Forget about those generic statements about team-work and strong communication skills – everyone will list those as their skills. This is about how you can set yourself apart from your competition and start to close your cover letter with conviction.
2. Thank the reader for considering your application.
This is a simple thing, and it probably won’t be a decider in whether you get the job or not. But it is polite. And your mama taught you to use your manners.
Thanking your potential employer also makes a good first impression, and that is one of your goals when you close your cover letter. You want to give an employer a sense of the type of person you are. Using manners is a great start. It is warm, without being too over-friendly. Here are a couple of examples:
- "Thank you for taking the time to consider my application…"
- "Thanks for the opportunity to express my interest in this exciting new role… "
- "Thank you for reading my application and considering my claims for the XYZ position…"
The great thing about expressing gratitude when you close your cover letter, is that it is a nice lead-point into asking for further contact.
“Love you!” is not a great closer for your cover letter. Not if you actually want the job.
3. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR AN INTERVIEW.
In my second to last job, I was the manager of a high-performing sales team. One of the things that I would drill into my staff on a day-to-day basis, was to ask for the sale. If you work in sales, you know what I mean. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. So, why aren’t you asking for an interview in your cover letter? (Particularly if you work in sales – if you aren’t asking for an interview, you don’t deserve the job!)
Asking for an interview when you close your cover letter doesn’t mean you have to be pushy. You don’t need to be rude, beg, be aggressive or act desperate. You just have to drop your request in there casually. In fact, you can even make it more of a statement, than a question. Try these and see which one feels the most natural to you:
- "I look forward to meeting you for an interview, to discuss my application in further detail and how I could be an asset to your organisation."
- "My calendar is open – please let me know if and when you would like to meet for an interview."
- "I hope to get the chance to discuss my suitability for the role during an interview, where I can share more examples of how I have XYZ in my career (points that relate specifically to the role)."
Making a statement about your interest in an interview when you close your cover letter, is a soft call to action. It tells the person reading your cover letter, what you would like to happen next. Using a soft call to action, coupled with a hard call to action (mentioned in point 5), is a strong, but polite way to finish off your communication. It is clear but not over the top.
4. Don’t be presumptuous or feel as though you have to take matters into your own hands.
I know I have already mentioned that you don’t need to be pushy when asking for an interview. But I felt this deserved it’s own point, because of some very misleading advice that I have read in other articles on this topic. Some of these articles suggested you use closing statements like:
“I will call you next Wednesday to discuss my application and schedule an interview”
Although I think it is important to close your cover letter with strength, this is just way over the top. I beg of you, as a recruiter and someone with over ten years experience working in HR and recruitment roles. Do not do this.
Every recruitment exercise has a process that it will follow. Some processes are more formal than others. But usually, it involves shortlisting (either by an individual or a panel) and then contacting candidates to arrange some form of assessment. This could include an interview or some other form of testing or screening. I don’t want to be rude, but if you called me a week after submitting your application to tell me you wanted to arrange an interview, you would be struck from the list. Plain and simple.
5. Invite them to contact you for more information.
Finally, it may seem a little redundant because an employer will contact you if they want more information regardless. But as I’ve mentioned, it is important to include a call to action when you close your cover letter. It leads the recruiter to what you want the outcome to be.
If you’ve already indicated your interest in an interview (your soft call to action), your request for contact becomes your hard call to action. Just because it is hard, doesn’t mean it has to be rude. So, choose your words wisely. Here are some examples:
- "Please feel free to contact me on XXX if you would like more information, or you would like to schedule a time to meet."
- "I don’t usually answer my mobile during business hours, but please leave me a voicemail or send me an email and I will get back to you as quickly as possible."
- "I look forward to hearing from you soon."
Make sure the contact details you supply in your cover letter and resume are correct. You have no idea how many times I have called a candidate, only to find they had made a typo in their phone number. On that note, if your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or something equally as cringe-worthy, you might want to consider signing up for a more professional email address like email@example.com, before you start submitting applications.
So, how does it all come together?
There are loads of different ways that you could package up this information into a strong, but thoughtful close. I have put together a couple of examples below of how you could close your cover letter. But feel free to use your creativity and come up with something that feels natural to you!
- “Thank you for considering my application for the Project Manager position. I’m sure you’ll agree that my experience in managing large-scale IT projects in the Defence space, coupled with my strong team leadership skills, make me a highly suitable candidate for this role. I welcome the opportunity to talk further about how my skills and experience could benefit your organisation, at an interview. Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information, or to arrange a time to meet. Thanks again.
- "Thank you for taking the time to read my application for the Administration Assistant role. As you can see from my attached resume, I have extensive experience in administrative roles within the construction industry, and I believe this would be an asset to your organisation. I look forward to talking to you more about my suitability for this opportunity. Please contact me on 111-111-111 to arrange an interview, or find out more information about my experience."
Will you use these tips to close your cover letter?
I hope these tips help! Please make sure you leave me a comment below, to let me know how you went with closing your cover letter. Alternatively, if you need a little help crafting the perfect cover letter for your dream role, you can check out my cover letter writing services here.