Email is a more informal way of communicating than writing a formal letter. Most people who use email appreciate this and it is not problematic. However, there is a slight grey area when using email for formal correspondence, such as applying for a job. Informal medium plus formal purpose can lead to confusion.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Other People Are Reading
End an email professionally by reverting to rules for formal letter writing. If you do not know the person you are emailing, you should end the message with “Yours faithfully.” If you are required to send an email to a departmental inbox, or general recruitment account, you may not know the recipient’s name.
Use “Yours sincerely” to end an email professionally where you know the name of the email recipient. Make sure you spell “sincerely” correctly. Using an “s” instead of a “c” or missing out the second “e” are common misspellings. You will not seem very professional if you have not bothered to spell-check your message.
Use “Yours truly” if you know the email recipient personally but are communicating to her in her professional capacity. This will ensure that anyone else reading the email will detect a professional tone rather than an over-friendly, informal tone.
Tips and warnings
- Put a comma after “faithfully,” “sincerely” or “truly.” Then press the “Enter” key twice to leave a line of space, and add your name. Use a capital for the first letter of each part of your name, unless your name includes “de,” “von,” “van” or other lower case components.
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