Is there any form of communication more dreaded for college students than the email? Talking face-to-face and over the phone, we get the benefit of being able to interact immediately and with our actual voices. We were raised on texts and know the ideal placement for a well-timed emoji. Emails, though, fit in the dreaded space between being casual and professional. It’s hard to write one without feeling like you’re potentially making the biggest mistake of your life. One of the biggest sources of email anxiety is the dreaded signature. So much is said in those few words at the end of the message. So how do you sign your first email to someone without ruining your career before it ever even starts?

10. "Sent from my iPhone"

If this is still your go-to, you need to put in the minimum amount of effort and come up with something original. End a message this way and you’re essentially saying “Yes, I typed this in line at Chipotle.” Besides lacking any human touch whatsoever, it’ll look like you’re just iPhoning it in.

9. "-Your name"

Use this and you’ll look cold and distant. You want to give the impression that you’ve put some effort into treating the recipient like a person.

8. "Sincerely,"

The first signature we all learned in third grade is also saved from being the worst of the bunch by sheer virtue of being typed by the sender. It’s a throwback to paper letters, which might be good in certain situations, but probably has no place in your next email.

7. "Respectfully,"

There’s not much wrong about this sign-off, but there’s not much good in it either. It’s lukewarm at best and, in nearly every situation, is too formal to seem appropriate.

6. "Take Care,"

If you’re writing to your aunt (or Drake), this is a fine choice. If you’re writing a first email to a professor or boss, you should rethink.

5. "Thanks,"

While not the worst you can do, it’s kind of weak. After all, it’s not exactly an ending; it just kind of exists. Despite how I feel, I use this all the time.

4. "Thanks so Much,"

My personal favorite in the thanks family, I use this often in real life and in email. It hides the fact that it’s not a real ending by being a friendly personal message that actually seems appreciative.

3. "Thanks!"

Yes, of all the variations of “thanks,” this one is the best. It’s genuine and it goes all-out in a way that the others don’t. The exclamation point is a kicker that can make any email sound genuine.

2. "Kind regards,"

It's the warm hug of email sign-offs. You might not know the recipient personally, but you can treat them like you've been friends forever by using this. It could come off as a touch too personal, but if it feels right you can be confident in your choice.

1. "Best,"

I will say this: it does give off strong grandma vibes. Besides that, this signature just might be the most popular in business, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s the cure to even the laziest emails. It’s concise without being terse, nice without being cloying. Even its ubiquity is a strength. You can’t go wrong here.

Well, here you have it. Also, you really should consult with someone more qualified before following this advice. I still need to figure out how to write the rest of the email.


Jake Smith

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash