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What Is a Signature Block in a Letter?

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Business correspondence offers you a way to set a professional tone with the recipient. Oftentimes, it's the only chance you get to make a first impression. Whether your correspondence lies in the form of a letter or an email, how you sign your name, the signature block, makes the reader take notice of who you are and what credentials you have.


Signature blocks come in two different types, letters and emails. In a letter, the signature block includes your signature in blue or black ink in-between the complimentary close and your typed name and title. An email signature block should contain your name, title, company, company address, phone, fax, email and website (optional).


The signature block ends the correspondence leaving the recipient your name showing that you are responsible for writing the letter and that you are the contact person if she should need to get back with you.


In a letter, the signature block needs to begin directly below the complimentary close. It is customary to return four spaces after your close to provide a space to sign your letter with an ink pen. In an email, you should type your name two spaces after your close. With an email program, you can manually set your signature line, so it is automatically applied to every email you send out, thus keeping it consistent.


The more information that you include in your signature line is beneficial to you if the recipient needs to get into contact with you. If you are applying for a job or even contacting someone that provides a service, you definitely want the reader to respond.


When writing a signature block in letter form, include your middle initial. There could be several people applying for a job, and if two of you happen to have the same name, a middle initial could help you to stand out. An email signature block typically includes an email address. Make sure that this email address is there and linked to your email through the program you are using. Don't assume that the person you are emailing is going to be the one to respond to your correspondence; always make it easy for anyone forwarded to contact you also.


Amanda Long has been freelance writing since 2010. Specializing in technology, crafts and business practices, her articles appear on eHow and Answerbag. Long has also been published in user-training manuals. Long holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing and business management from Northwest Missouri State University.

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