What Your Email Sign-off Says About You
By Hayley Shaughnessy
If your workspace is a desk or office equipped with a computer, it’s likely that the majority of your daily communications occurs over email. For those of us who live and breathe the digital age, email is quite a comfortable form of communication. Whether you work from home, or share space with colleagues, email is one of the most efficient and quick ways of getting in touch with people.
The way you write an email can say a lot about your personality, working style and attention level. But it goes beyond the contents of your message – the way you sign-off on your emails says plenty, too. Here’s a list of some of the most common email signatures and what they might convey about you.
Thank you, thanks, thx
What does saying any version of “thank you” say about you? You’re courteous, thoughtful and too scared not to be your most polite self. You also may not be comfortable opening up to your colleagues right away and are likely to say “yes, please” to anything offered to you.
Ending every single email with noted appreciation may be overdoing it a little. Depending on the content of your email, a form of gratitude may not always be necessary.
It’s important to note the context of a period after the word “thanks.” Beware of partnering the word “thanks” with a period as it may come off as passive-aggressive, given the content of your email leading up to it. To avoid this, you may want to stick with a comma or exclamation mark (just in case you’re excitedly thankful!) after “thanks” instead of a period. Believe it or not, punctuation speaks louder than words sometimes.
The word “cheers” may be best-known for many as a TV show or what you say before clinking drinks with friends or colleagues. If you use “cheers” to sign off on emails, you may come across as cool, comfortable and confident in communicating with just about anyone online. This doesn’t take away from your professionalism by any means; it adds a more approachable, go-with the flow nature.
It’s often a safe bet, particularly when you’re not very familiar with the recipient. But if the contents of your email happen to be of a serious nature, you’ll want to skip this sign-off.
Perhaps written with a British accent, regards is one of the most common email sign-offs. It’s not too formal or laidback, which shows exactly that about you. You exude confidence and power, but aren’t showing it off around the office.
Adding “kind” or “warm” in front of regards may be a bit too formal, depending on your field or who might be receiving the email. When it doubt, stick with “regards” on its own.
The odds of you actually writing and seeing this in an email today are pretty slim, but if you’re one of few still using “sincerely,” it may be perceived that you’re hanging on to an outdated signature style, or you’re writing a cover letter.
That being said, ending emails this way gives off a level of sophistication – and you may brighten someone’s day with the language throwback!
Have a great morning/day/evening/weekend
Although some people may find this type of signature insincere, if you add a line like this to your emails, you genuinely want what’s best for people and likely have a positive outlook 90% of the time. You’re looking to see the bright side of stories and want others to too. A great by-product of this style of signature is it can leave the reader with a positive feeling after reading your note.
A, B, C…
If you’re the initials type, you’re one of the most creative people in your office. By signing off emails with any combination of your initials (first initial, last initial, first and last initials), it shows that you have a personal brand. You pay attention to how anything around you looks and feels too. You likely have photo frames on your desk and decorations hanging for special occasions and holidays.
Unless you’re engaging in an office romance or are exceedingly comfortable with your colleagues, you likely aren’t ending emails with “XO.” It’s safe to say this letter pairing isn’t the most appropriate for the modern workplace.
No signature at all
If you don’t add anything at the bottom of an initial email, you just may be too casual. This lack of sign-off can give off great mystery for the person on the receiving end.
However, if you don’t use a signature throughout an email trail, you may also be considered respectful and efficient. Waste an extra line or two for a sign off and your name when the person already knows who they’re talking to? Don’t bother.