How to Close a Professional Letter

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Closing a professional letter involves choosing what to include in the closing paragraph, choosing a complimentary close and signing the letter. Because the letter is for a professional purpose, you should maintain a formal style throughout the letter. Once you develop a dependable format, you can reuse the format for all your professional letters.

Wrap up the letter in a closing paragraph. Depending on the subject matter, the closing paragraph should restate what you want the recipient to do for you, state whether you need extra information from the recipient, to restate your interest, state how you will follow up, and/or thank the recipient for her time or consideration. The closing paragraph should be limited to about four sentences.

Choose a professional close, such as "Sincerely," "Sincerely yours," "Regards" or "Respectfully yours." "Sincerely" is the most common and safest to use. If the close has more than one word, the first letter of the first word should be capitalized but the other words are lowercase. The close should be typed on the left side of the page, not indented to the right side of the page.

Type your first and last name roughly 1 inch below your close. Put your actual signature in between the close and your typed name. Sign your name how you typed it--for example, do not sign your middle initial if you didn't type your middle initial.

About the Author

Vanessa Padgalskas was born and raised in Spokane, Wash., and currently resides in Portland, Ore. Padgalskas graduated from American University in 2007 with degrees in international studies and economics. She holds a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School.

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