LiveCareer Blog

Closing Your Cover Letter with Panache

  First impressions matter, but last impressions can be just as important. Here’s how to wrap up the final notes of your cover letter and say goodbye in style.   When it comes to ranking the importance of each section of your cover letter, your introduction absolutely tops the list. The first few lines of your letter can set the stage for success, and some employers (even if they don’t realize they’re doing it) make a final decision about your candidacy before they even reach the second paragraph. First impressions matter; no surprises there.   But final impressions matter too. And as important as your opening line may be, your closing line will leave an echo and can certainly sway the balance in your favor. If the final notes of your letter are articulate, respectful, and on-point, your profile may create a deeper impression and last a little while longer in your reader’s memory. Here are a few moves that can make that happen.  

Think about the end before you write the beginning.

  This is a general rule that applies to all writing projects, from short stories to news reports. Envision the end of your letter before you start typing your first paragraph. If it helps, draft an outline that summarizes the information you’ll include in each section. Creating a road map in this way can help you set a pace and rhythm for your letter so you can say everything you need to say without rushing, rambling, or cutting off abruptly at the end.  

Summarize, but don’t repeat.

  You may have learned how to write the standard “five paragraph essay” in the seventh grade, which includes an opening statement, followed by three supporting claims, then a restatement of the primary point at the end. But your professional cover letter is not a 7th-grade essay.  Summarize your most important point if you must (the most important reason your reader should hire you), but don’t repeat yourself verbatim. Find a new way to concisely package this unique selling point in a new, fresh way.  

Show yourself out gracefully.

  After you’ve made your final case (or completed the backstory that explains why you should have this job), thank your readers for their time and attention. Express enthusiasm and provide specific detail about the promising nature of this future partnership. Then wrap it up. Here’s an example of how this might sound:   “I hope you’ll agree that my past experience aligns perfectly with the demands of the position. I’m excited about this opportunity, and I’d love to meet with you in person to discuss how I can help Qualco complete a successful expansion into the Seattle area youth market.”  

Provide a call to action.

  The very last line of your cover letter should make a suggestion—either subtle or direct—regarding your reader’s next move. You can ask for something, give a direct instruction, or gently point your reader toward more information. But no matter what you do, clarify the next action you’d like them to take. Any one of these will do:   “Please review my attached resume and feel free to contact me at your convenience.”   “I’d welcome an opportunity to meet with you in person. Please let me know how we can make this happen.”   “You can learn more about me by reviewing my online profile, which you can find here (insert link)”.   “Please let me know how I can support your business development efforts.”   After you’ve introduced yourself, stated your case, thanked your reader and offered a call to action, close your message with a respectful sign-off (“Sincerely” will always work), followed by your name and preferred contact information. Then submit your message and get ready to follow up when the moment arrives.   —   In the meantime, turn to the resume creation resources at Quintcareers and start pursuing the next opportunity.