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Do You Have To Sign A Cover Letter

If you have any doubts about how to sign your cover letter, then you need to look no further. Read on for a few ideas on how to sign your resume's cover letter.

Career Advice & Tips: Resume Writing Tips

How To Sign A Resume Cover Letter

The relation between a cover letter and a resume is the same as a preface and its corresponding book. This is what the reader reads before he/she views your resume, so it can be used to create a good first impression. First impressions go a long way and may even make the recruiter take more interest in reading your resume or curriculum vitae. Your cover letter must be crisp, professional and to the point. A lengthy cover letter is sure to lose the reader’s attention, so, ensure that yours is very succinct and precise. Cover letters usually end with phrases like “Thanks and Regards” or “Thanking You” or “Sincerely”, followed by your signature and name. If you are printing the cover letter, omit at least four lines between the typed salutation and your name to sign the cover letter. It is better to sign the cover letter by hand for a personal touch rather than use any image processing software or computer generated signature – use black or blue colored ink for signing professional letters. This way of showing personal interest and using black or blue ink to create an impression of professionalism can influence the recruiter’s mind in a subtle way and if your resume suits their needs, they might just consider you as a prospective employee even before they meet you.


Signing A Resume Cover Letter

  • The closure of the cover letter starts with phrases like “Sincerely”, “Best Regards”, “Warm Regards”, “Thanks and Regards”, “Thanking You”, etc. These phrases should end with a comma.

  • This should be followed by few empty lines and then with your full name. The empty space is for you to sign on the letter by hand.

  • If your signature is generally impossible to read, try to sign neatly so that the reader need not strain him/herself when attempting to read it.

  • Some offices who have trained professionals for handwriting analysis prefer hand signed letters for obvious reasons. You can use digital signatures only if you have to send the cover letter and the resume online. In such a case, you wouldn’t be able to sign it by hand so you can use a digital pen to copy your signature as an image that can be copied at the respective position. However, it is not mandatory and the cover letter can also be sent unsigned on mail.

  • Of the most commonly found ink colors (red, green, blue, purple and black), blue and black signify professionalism and are very often used for business letters. The same applies for the color of the signature in your cover letter. In short, stick to black and blue.

  • Your name typed below should contain your first name, last name and also your middle name, if you have any.

  • Your signature should not overlap the typed print. This is why you must leave enough space between the last two lines. The above mentioned estimate of four line-spaces would be sufficient for most signatures but if your signature is too big, you might need to add more empty lines accordingly.

  • Always remember to sign on your cover letter. Forgetting to sign after printing it is one of the most common mistakes made by people applying for jobs. This mistake conveys a message of irresponsibility and lack of attention to detail, when viewed from the employer’s perspective.

  • You need not type your postal address, email address or phone number below your name because these details are supposed to be mentioned at the beginning of the cover letter.

People in the field of recruitment tend to observe minute details to get hints of your personality and/or character. Minor details such as signing your cover letter, might sound a tad bit too irrelevant to you but they are observed and often scrutinized by the prying eyes of the recruiter. This is why it is important to understand what is expected and follow the same if we must win the employers’ approval.

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In the U.S. mathematics departments I'm familiar with, writing "Ph.D." after your name would not be disastrous, but it would be a bad idea. It can look insecure, like you are worried readers will assume you don't have a Ph.D. if you don't remind them frequently, or pompous, like you feel having a Ph.D. is an important distinction that must be emphasized, and I see no upside to balance the risk of appearing insecure or pompous.

To clarify, I don't think merely listing "Ph.D." after your name would undermine an otherwise great application. Nobody is going to take it that seriously. However, it can be tricky to get the tone right in academic job applications, and some applicants inadvertently write things that could be read as insecure or pompous. (Indeed, it's natural to feel insecure, and it's easy to come across as pompous if you try too hard to convince the reader that you'd make a great hire.) The danger is that the reader might piece together several small things into an overall negative impression, maybe even subconsciously. From this perspective, it's safest to eliminate issues you can identify, even if they wouldn't be decisive by themselves, just in case they might reinforce other things you're unaware of.

Note that conventions for the post-nominal use of "Ph.D." may vary between countries or even universities, as well as between fields. This is a matter of culture, and you'll need to figure out what the culture is like where you are applying.