Do I Need To Sign A Cover Letter? (Career Advice)

I’ve learned a lot about professional correspondence in my time as a writer and editor. When it comes to professionalism, there are more rules than you might think. So I get asked all the time: Should you sign your cover letter? 

And is there anything else that’s expected when sending out an email with a resume or cover letter attached? Here’s what you need to know about signing letters, emails, job listings, and even greeting cards when applying for jobs…

Ask a Career Advisor | Are Cover Letters Necessary? – YouTube
A cover letter is a document that accompanies your resume and provides additional information about your skills, experience, and qualifications.
Cover letters allow you to showcase your personality, enthusiasm, and qualifications in a more personalized way than your resume alone.
When submitting a hard copy or PDF, it’s a good idea to include a signature on your cover letter.
A cover letter should be no more than one page long and should be tailored to the specific job and employer.
Additional resources, such as articles and guides, can help you write an effective cover letter.

Do I Need To Sign A Cover Letter?

You should always sign your cover letter, but did you know that not signing it can cost you the job? If you don’t sign your cover letter and someone else does, they could be the one who gets hired instead of you. This happens all the time, so don’t let it happen to you!

A handwritten signature shows that you put some thought into the application process and care about getting this job. 

It also shows that your handwriting is neat and legible (which helps with things like signatures). A signature is an important part of any job application because it lets employers get a sense of who they are hiring before even meeting them in person.

When applying for jobs, it’s important to remember that not all employers require a cover letter. However, in many cases, it can be a valuable tool to help you stand out. Check out our article on do all jobs require a cover letter to learn more about when and why you might want to include a cover letter in your application.

Should You Include Your Cover Letter In An Email Or Attach It As A Separate Document?

In most cases, attaching your cover letter as a separate document is the best option. This allows employers to read through your cover letter without having to scroll through all of the other documents you have attached to your application.

However, there are times when attaching it as a separate document will not work. For example, if you have applied online and need to attach several documents and files (such as a portfolio), 

It may be more convenient for the hiring manager if they can open all of these files directly from their inbox instead of having to download them from Dropbox or Google Drive.

Is It Necessary To Sign A Handwritten Cover Letter?

Your cover letter can be handwritten, which will make it stand out from the rest.

Handwritten letters are more personal. People love the personal touch and often take the time to read handwritten letters much longer than they do typed ones.

They are more likely to be kept, shared, and remembered!

If you’re unsure whether or not to sign your cover letter, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution. In general, it’s best to sign your cover letter if you’re submitting a hard copy or PDF. Learn more about cover letter signatures in our article on do cover letters need to be signed by an expert in the field.

Do I Need To Write Dear Sir Or Madam?

If you don’t know the gender of the person you’re writing to, it’s best to avoid using the salutation Dear Sir or Madam. You should also avoid using Sir/Madam because these are often associated with business correspondence and look outdated.

If you know that a specific person is male or female, but aren’t sure if they prefer Mr., Ms., or another title (such as Dr.), use their preferred form of address in your letter. 

If they have no preference, then it’s okay to use Miss/Mrs./Ms.; however, this can sometimes be confusing since some people are married but still go by their maiden name professionally so make sure that answer is clear!

Should The Salutation Come Before Or After The Address Of The Person I’m Writing To?

The salutation is a greeting, while the address is a location. The order should be:

Salutation (Greeting) Name and Title of Person You’re Writing To’s Name Address Line 1 City State Zip Code

The salutation should be formal: Dear Ms. Smith or Dear Mr. Jones. 

If using “To Whom It May Concern,” it’s best to keep the rest of your letter as formal as possible because it has no personal connection with anyone on the receiving end and can come across as overly casual without another context in place first (for example, if you were addressing someone at work but don’t know them well).

What Should You Do If You Don’t Know Who Will Be Reading Your Cover Letter?

If you don’t know who will be reading your cover letter, be sure to include your name and contact information at the top of the letter. This may seem obvious, but many people forget to do this! Make sure that the cover letter is consistent with the rest of your application materials (i.e., keep it short and sweet).

For example:

To Whom It May Concern: My name is John Doe, and I am applying for a position as an IT specialist at Acme Corporation. I am an energetic individual with a passion for working with technology-based products and services. 

In my current role as Help Desk Manager at ABC Corp., I am responsible for resolving customer complaints using effective solutions while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction…

One common question when it comes to cover letters is whether or not they require a signature. While the answer can vary depending on the employer and application process, it’s generally a good idea to include a signature if you’re submitting a hard copy or PDF. Check out our article on does the cover letter need a signature for more information on this topic.

What Happens If There Is No Name On The Job Listing?

If there is no name on the job listing, make sure you address your cover letter to “Dear Sir/Madam”. Don’t forget to include your full name, address, and contact details.

If there’s not a company name or person listed in the job description, send your CV and cover letter to several different people at that company (such as the HR department) rather than just one specific person. 

Make sure you include their names in both of these documents too! It’s always worth getting back in touch with them if they don’t get back to you straight away anyway – just so that they know who you are!

If there isn’t any information available about who will be interviewing candidates or making decisions regarding recruitment processes (such as hiring managers), address it directly with “To Whom It May Concern” instead.

How Can You Address Someone Without Knowing Their Gender Preference?

If you don’t know the gender of the person you are addressing, there are several options.

Use the person’s title and last name (e.g., “Dear Mr. Smith”).

Use their full name (e.g., “Dear John Smith”).

Use their title and first name (e.g., “Dear Dr. John Smith”) if you think they will be okay with that level of informality; this may depend on how formal your cover letter is and what kind of organization you’re applying to, among other factors.

Combine these approaches: write out their full name but use the more informal “John” rather than “Dr.” in an email salutation or signature block to signal that it’s okay for them to call you by your first name!

Whether or not you should sign your cover letter can depend on a number of factors, such as the type of job you’re applying for and the preferences of the employer. To learn more about when to sign your cover letter, check out our article on do you have to sign a cover letter, which provides insights and advice from industry professionals.

Do You Need To Sign A Thank-You Email After An Interview?

A lot of people will tell you that it’s essential, but the truth is that signing your name at the bottom of an email won’t make or break your chances in any way. However, there are a few things that can make your letter stand out and give it more power than not signing it at all. Here are some guidelines for writing an effective thank-you note:

Don’t spend too long on a letter (longer than one page). If you find yourself with more than two pages worth of things to say, separate them into multiple shorter paragraphs instead. This will allow them to read each section without feeling overwhelmed by the information.

Don’t send too short of a letter (less than one paragraph). Your resume and cover letter already did most of the work when it came time for employers or recruiters to make their decision about whether or not they wanted you on their team; so don’t try convincing them anymore by sending out these types of letters! 

They’ll just think that if they don’t hire someone who writes such great emails then they must not know what they’re doing in general and nobody wants that reputation! 

Chances are good though especially since we’ve been over this quite thoroughly now that this won’t be something we ever have cause worry about again thanks largely because our cover letters aren’t exactly “covering up anything.”

What If You Forget To Sign An Important Email That Leaves Your Office?

If you have an important email that you forgot to sign, it’s not too late. Send a follow-up email with the subject line “Sorry I didn’t sign our last email” and then explain in the body of your message that it was an oversight and you’re sorry for any inconvenience caused by this oversight.

Next, ask if they received the previous email before asking if they would like you to resend it (in case their inbox is full). If so, attach both emails so that they can see what happened without having to open them individually.

How Do You Sign Off A Professional Email If You’re Not Including Your Resume And Cover Letter As Attachments?

You should sign off as:



Yours truly, and/or

Yours faithfully.

The question of whether or not to include a signature on your cover letter can be confusing, but it’s important to understand the expectations of the employer and the norms of your industry. To learn more about cover letter signatures, check out our article on do I need a signature for cover letter, which provides tips and guidance for job seekers.

What Font Size Should I Use For My Professional Email Signature And How Long Can It Be?

The font size that you choose for your professional email signature depends on the rest of the content in your email. It should be large enough to read, but not so large that it takes up too much space or becomes distracting. Your signature shouldn’t be longer than a few lines, as this will make it difficult for someone to add their signature above yours.

The information that you include in your professional email signature is entirely up to you the main goal is to make sure that recipients know who wrote the message and how they can contact them if necessary. You might want to include:

Your name (first and last), title, department, company name (if applicable)

A link or phone number where people can reach out with questions or concerns

Social media handles

How Should You Sign Your Name On An Email Cover Letter And Resume (When Applying For A Job)?

First, it’s important to remember that a signature should be your name, not an official title. The signature should appear on the same page as your cover letter and resume. If you’re including multiple pages in your application package, then each additional sheet should also have a signature at the bottom of the page.

If you’re sending an email letter and resume via email, then your signature will appear at the bottom of both documents in tandem with one another.

When applying for jobs in person, how do you handle a greeting card when handing over your resume and cover letter in person at an event or job fair?

When applying for jobs in person, you’ll probably be handing over your resume and cover letter in person at an event or job fair. If you’re using a greeting card to hand your resume and cover letter to the employer, consider how big it is. You don’t want them to have trouble holding it while they read.


Hopefully, this article has given you the confidence to tackle any job search and write a great cover letter. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to do it just make sure that your letter meets all of the requirements listed above and that it will be good enough for any employer.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you with your cover letter:

Ask the Hiring Attorney: Signing Electronic Cover Letters: This article from the American Bar Association offers advice on signing electronic cover letters, including how to handle digital signatures.

How to Sign a Cover Letter: This article from Resume Genius provides tips and guidelines for signing cover letters, including how to choose the right format and style for your signature.

Do I Need a Cover Letter?: This article from Novoresume explores the question of whether or not cover letters are necessary, and provides guidance on when and how to use them effectively.


What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a document that accompanies your resume and provides additional information about your skills, experience, and qualifications. It is typically addressed to a specific employer or job posting and is used to introduce yourself and explain why you are a good fit for the position.

Why are cover letters important?

Cover letters are important because they allow you to showcase your personality, enthusiasm, and qualifications in a more personalized way than your resume alone. They can also help you stand out from other applicants and demonstrate your interest in the company and position.

Do I need to sign my cover letter?

Whether or not you need to sign your cover letter can depend on the employer and the application process. In general, if you are submitting a hard copy or PDF, it’s a good idea to include a signature. If you are submitting your application online, a digital signature may be sufficient.

How long should a cover letter be?

A cover letter should be no more than one page long, and should be concise, clear, and to the point. It should highlight your most relevant qualifications and experience and explain why you are a good fit for the position.

Can I use the same cover letter for multiple job applications?

While it may be tempting to use the same cover letter for multiple job applications, it’s important to tailor your letter to the specific job and employer. This can help you demonstrate your interest in the position and make a stronger impression on the hiring manager.