The job application process can be stressful, and one question that many job seekers find themselves asking is, "Should I sign my cover letter?" In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the history of signing documents, the pros and cons of signing a cover letter, and the psychology behind signed cover letters. Our aim is to help you make an informed decision on whether to sign your cover letter and how to do it professionally.

Signing a cover letter can demonstrate professionalism and attention to detail, making a positive impression on potential employers. Although it is not strictly required, it can set you apart from other applicants and show that you have taken the time to personalize your application.

The History of Signing Documents

Understanding the history of signing documents can provide context for the modern job application process and the relevance of signed cover letters. Historically, signatures were used for authentication and agreement, and people signed documents to confirm their identity or consent to the terms of a contract. This practice dates back to ancient civilizations, where rulers and officials would use seals or other unique marks to authenticate written records.

As technology evolved, the transition from physical signatures to electronic signatures began. Today, electronic signatures are widely accepted and legally binding in many countries. The role of signatures in the job application process has also evolved, with many job seekers now submitting electronic cover letters and resumes. However, the history of signing documents and the perceived importance of signed cover letters remain relevant, as they can demonstrate a level of formality and personal touch that hiring managers may appreciate.

The Psychology Behind Signed Cover Letters

The impact of a signed cover letter on hiring managers can be better understood by examining the psychology behind the perception of signed documents. One study published in Psychology Today found that signatures can convey a sense of trustworthiness and commitment. By signing your cover letter, you are essentially putting your name behind your words and expressing your genuine interest in the position.

A signed cover letter may also help establish a personal connection between the applicant and the hiring manager. As mentioned in Authors Cast, using a professional sign-off followed by your full name can create a sense of authenticity and sincerity. This personal touch can make your application more memorable and help you stand out from other candidates.

However, it's important to consider potential negative psychological effects of a signed cover letter. For example, if your signature is illegible or overly casual, it may give the impression that you lack professionalism or attention to detail. To maximize the positive psychological impact of a signed cover letter, ensure that your signature is clear, professional, and consistent with the tone of your application.

How to Sign a Paper Cover Letter

Properly signing a paper cover letter can demonstrate professionalism and attention to detail. Follow these steps to ensure that your signature adds value to your application:

  1. Placement: Your signature should be placed at the end of your cover letter, after your closing statement. Leave a space between your closing statement (e.g., "Sincerely" or "Best regards") and your signature to give your signature room to stand out.

  2. Professional sign-off: Use a professional closing statement, such as "Sincerely," "Best regards," or "Yours faithfully," to set the tone for your signature. Avoid overly casual or informal sign-offs, which may give a negative impression.

  3. Pen and ink color: According to Modern Fuel, it's best to use blue or black ink for signing documents, as these colors are considered professional and easy to read. Blue ink is often preferred, as it can help your signature stand out from the rest of the black text on your cover letter.

  4. Size and legibility: Your signature should be large enough to be easily read, but not so large that it dominates the page. Legibility is key; if your signature is difficult to read, it may give the impression that you lack attention to detail.

  5. Neatness: Sign your cover letter neatly and cleanly, avoiding any smudges or ink blots. This demonstrates care and professionalism, reinforcing the positive impression you want to make on potential employers.

Common Concerns and Misconceptions

Addressing common concerns and misconceptions about signing cover letters can help job seekers make informed decisions and avoid potential mistakes.

  1. Formality: Some job seekers worry that signing a cover letter may appear too formal. While it's true that a signature can add a level of formality, it's important to consider the specific job application and industry. In more traditional or conservative industries, a signed cover letter may be expected and appreciated. In more casual settings, a typed name may suffice.

  2. Necessity: There's a misconception that signing a cover letter is no longer necessary due to electronic submissions. While it's true that electronic submissions have become more common, signing a cover letter (even electronically) can still convey professionalism and attention to detail.

  3. Adapting to the job application and industry: The decision to sign your cover letter should be based on the specific job application and industry. If you're unsure whether a signature is expected or appropriate, research the company culture and industry norms to make an informed decision.

  4. Consequences of not signing: Not signing a cover letter when it's expected can make your application appear incomplete or careless. However, in many cases, a missing signature is unlikely to be a deal-breaker. It's more important to focus on creating a well-written, tailored cover letter that highlights your skills and experience.

  5. When a signature may not be required but could be beneficial: In some cases, a signature may not be strictly required, but including one can still make a positive impression. If you're unsure whether to sign your cover letter, consider the potential benefits of demonstrating professionalism and attention to detail, and weigh these against any potential drawbacks.

Signature Examples in Cover Letters

It's important to sign your cover letter with a suitable closing that reflects your level of professionalism and aligns with the company's culture. Below are examples of professional and appropriate signatures:

Example 1: Simple and Classic

This approach is straightforward and appropriate for any professional context.

Sincerely, John Doe

Example 2: Respectful and Formal

This sign-off conveys a high degree of formality and respect, suitable for traditional industries or companies.

Yours faithfully, Jane Smith

Example 3: Courteous and Personal

This closing adds a touch of personal warmth while still maintaining a professional tone.

Best regards, Robert Johnson

Example 4: Warm and Professional

This closing is slightly less formal, but still conveys respect and professionalism, making it suitable for many modern businesses.

Kind regards, Emily Davis

Example 5: Professional and Polite

This closing demonstrates a high level of respect and formality, making it a safe choice when you are unsure of the company's expectations.


Respectfully, Samuel Johnson

Remember, it's important to match the formality of your sign-off with the company's culture and the nature of the role you are applying for. These signatures are professionally acceptable and can be adapted to most situations, making them excellent choices when signing your cover letter.

Full List Of Signatures For A Cover Letter

In a professional setting, the way you close your cover letter can leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager. It's an opportunity to exude professionalism and reflect your personal style. To help you leave a positive and memorable impression, we've compiled a list of 70 professional cover letter signatures. These range from traditional closings starting with "Best Regards" and "Sincerely," to more unique ones like "Yours in Faithful Service" and "In Earnest Hope". Remember, it's essential to match the tone and formality of your signature with the culture of the company and the role you're applying for.

Choose the signature that best aligns with your personal style and the tone set in your cover letter. Whether you opt for a traditional closing or decide to stand out with something a bit more unique, this list offers a wide range of options to suit every professional context.

  1. Best Regards
  2. Sincerely
  3. Warm Regards
  4. Kind Regards
  5. With Appreciation
  6. Yours Truly
  7. Respectfully
  8. Best Wishes
  9. Cordially
  10. Regards
  11. Yours Respectfully
  12. Warmly
  13. With Gratitude
  14. Best
  15. Sincere Regards
  16. Many Thanks
  17. Best Wishes
  18. Yours Sincerely
  19. Thanks in Advance
  20. Yours
  21. Yours in Service
  22. With Thanks
  23. Yours With Gratitude
  24. My Best
  25. Sincere Thanks
  26. Cheers
  27. Yours in Partnership
  28. Thank You
  29. Gratefully
  30. Appreciatively
  31. Sincerely Yours
  32. Faithfully Yours
  33. In Gratitude
  34. Respectfully Yours
  35. Wishing You Well
  36. Yours in Gratitude
  37. With Respect
  38. Thanking You
  39. With Warmth
  40. Humbly
  41. Thank You for Your Consideration
  42. In Respect
  43. Best to You
  44. Yours in Appreciation
  45. Cordially Yours
  46. In Kindness
  47. Thank You for Your Time
  48. With Sincerity
  49. Warmly Yours
  50. With Best Wishes
  51. Warmest Regards
  52. Looking Forward
  53. With Anticipation
  54. Respectfully Yours
  55. In Anticipation
  56. Yours Eagerly
  57. With Assurance
  58. Yours Hopefully
  59. Best Regards to You
  60. With Hope
  61. Wishing You the Best
  62. Yours Expectantly
  63. In Respectful Anticipation
  64. Regards to You
  65. In Hopeful Expectation
  66. With High Hopes
  67. Yours in Hope
  68. Hopeful Regards
  69. Yours in Anticipation
  70. With Great Expectation


Signing a cover letter can demonstrate professionalism and attention to detail, making a positive impression on potential employers, although it is not strictly required. Throughout this article, we've explored the history of signing documents, the pros and cons of signing a cover letter, the psychological impact of signed cover letters on hiring managers, and best practices for signing both paper and electronic cover letters. We've also addressed common concerns and misconceptions about cover letter signatures.

As you consider whether to sign your cover letter, remember to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks, and consider the specific job application and industry. Ultimately, the decision to sign your cover letter is up to you, but understanding the factors at play can help you make an informed choice.

We encourage you to share your experiences and ask any questions you may have in the comments below. Good luck with your job search, and may your cover letter – signed or unsigned – help you secure the position you desire!