How to Sign Off Your Emails as a Grad

Posted by GradConnection

Once upon a time letter writing was an art. It’s an experience seemingly so distant to current students and grads that a fairytale opening feels appropriate. Emails have since taken place, but the advice isn’t wholly non-transferrable.

The ease and efficiency of emails compared to snail mail hides the fact there is skill and benefit to writing an email well. In fact, a deft understanding on how to end an email is a skill that you’ll want to perfect as a student or grad to leave a great lasting impression on your recipient. We outline how you can do so in this article.

Why is an email sign off important?

It’s important to end an email well because that’s the note the recipient is going to remember as they finish reading it. Simply put, ending an email professionally could help you stand out and leave a positive memorable impression on recruiters and your potential future employer.

How should I sign off depending on the context?

The sign off should match the factors affecting the formality of the email. Consider things like:

  • Do you know the person?
  • What’s the nature of your relationship?
  • Is this a first email or one in an email chain where just your name might do?

If you’re a graduate who has recently started in your first position, your employer likely has templates or a company email signature for the emails you make. In that case refer to their guidelines when signing off on your email. But what if you’re yet to find that first gig?

An article from the 1950s on how to end a correspondence recommends simplicity is best with the trio “faithfully”, “truly” and “sincerely”. One editor used “Yours faithfully” to people he didn’t know and “Yours sincerely” to those he did.

Similarly the Australian Government’s style guide recommends the sign off should match how you began the email. If you know the person's name use “Yours sincerely,” if you don’t then use “Yours faithfully”.

For a recent graduate the conventions for signing off an email aren’t particularly strict but there are things you may choose to avoid. As a rule of thumb informal sign offs (such as abbreviations, slang, and emojis) may appear unprofessional. If you’re unsure it seems you can’t go wrong with either sincerely or faithfully as a more formal way to close out an email.

What should I include in my email signature?

Your email signature follows your sign off, providing some information about yourself and your organisation (if relevant).

The Australian Government’s style guide recommends the signature include:

  • Name
  • Position or role
  • Branch and division
  • Organisation
  • Work phone number
  • Work email address

As a recent graduate not all of these fields may be relevant to you, but when designing your email signature you should consider it an opportunity to show who you are, how to reach you, and direct people to where to find out more. For example, that might be a link to your portfolio website, or somewhere you have a professional online presence.

Signing Off

The art of email writing is made up of many parts, the sign off is just one heading toward the same goal, just as it is for letter writing.


When riding the line of conversational yet formal, friendly yet professional, you should always remember you’re talking to a person behind the “compose email” button.

Find out more about how you can engage with recruiters, including a free message template here.


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