What polite way of ending a cover letter should be used?

Simple greeting

How do you finish a covering letter?

Addressing a future employer is not always easy. Whether you know the recipient of your letter or not, the relationship is still that of an individual who is paying for his labour. In any case, if you feel that your position as an employee does not make your employer a superior, accept the fact that he is your customer and as such deserves all the respect due to that status.

In practical terms, this means that, without showing too much deference, you need to maintain a certain balance in what you say.

The right tone for talking to your future boss

Don't be condescending or obsequious, don't be contemptuous or authoritarian. So prefer a gentle, respectful imperative: "Please accept..." rather than "Please...".

Avoid an overly deferential tone, but don't go overboard by being too light-hearted: save the "Kind regards", "Yours faithfully" or "Best regards" for later, as they could be misinterpreted by the person you're talking to who isn't yet your colleague.

Offer your distinguished or respectful greetings, but bear in mind that in principle only a hierarchical superior is in a position to distinguish his or her subordinate... Your best greetings or best feelings will also do the trick.

In all cases, avoid expressions that are too convoluted... and that you don't know any better than the person you're talking to.

If you are referring to the expression or assurance of your feelings or consideration, just remember that you cannot associate them with greetings. So don't use "expression of my greetings" or "assurance of my greetings...". On the other hand, it is perfectly acceptable to send or accept greetings.

If you use "Dear Sir or Madam" at the beginning of your letter, include it in your closing address. On the other hand, avoid using a pompous title or one that is too long: no "Please accept, Madam Head of Human Resources" or "Mr Chairman and Chief Executive". It's unnecessarily long, so save your alexandrines for poetry! As with your salutation, avoid using "Mademoiselle" because of the old-fashioned, even contemptuous, way it might sound to the person you're addressing.

Finally, in a professional context, never express your feelings and avoid paying your respects (a man can pay his respects to a woman). Remain formal in all circumstances, favouring a cordial tone and common phrases.

Prefer common forms of address:

    • Yours respectfully
    • Yours sincerely

Banish polite formulas and incorrect abbreviations and banish :

    • "Yours sincerely
    • "Yours sincerely Respect the language of the recruiter. Monsieur" is abbreviated to "M." and not "Mr", which means "Mister".

Avoid pompous formulas when addressing your audience. Despite his eminence and distinction, he will still be on his feet to read you and you to write!

    • "Please accept [...] the expression of my profound respect" or "Please accept my highest consideration".
    • "Yours faithfully [...] Madam, Sir, Head of Human Resources...". Don't express your gratitude too early.

Keep it simple and concise, and don't forget to be yourself! It's easier to be criticised an amphiguric formulation than your simplicity. Keeping your letters simple is a good way, if not the best way, of expressing your respectful feelings towards the recruiter or your greetings.

Spelling, a mark of respect

Alain, in his Propos sur l'éducation said "Spelling is respect; it's a kind of politeness. It would be pointless to apply the above advice if you neglected to spell the polite expressions you had so much trouble choosing! So make sure you always have your application proofread and corrected by a professional writer.

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