How to End a Reference Letter

by Toby Jones; Updated September 26, 2017
The right ending to a recommendation letter is vital.

Writing a letter of recommendation is an important task, with a lot riding on it for the subject of your letter. And no matter what line of work you're in, at some point in your career, you are apt to be asked to write a letter of recommendation. While the introduction and body of the letter are crucial components of the letter's success, the way you end the letter is no less important, for it forms the final impression in the mind of the recipient.

Ending Your Letter of Recommendation

Step 1

Review the major points in your letter, being sure to list those stellar personality traits and skills you'd most like the recipient to remember. To avoid sounding repetitious, try using synonyms

Step 2

Be sure to use the candidate’s first and last name in the reaffirmation to leave the recipient thinking about him. For example, your final sentence might say, “In conclusion, Steve Mayer’s brilliant insight, one-of-a-kind work ethic, and engaging people skills make him a candidate worthy of your most thorough consideration.”

Step 3

Invite the recipient to contact you in order to talk further about the candidate. As thorough and effective as your letter is, there are bound to be other aspects of the candidate about which the employer may want to inquire. By inviting such follow-up contact, you solidify your commitment to stand behind all that you’ve written while also giving the recipient the assurance that this letter is legitimate and easy to verify. You might write, "If you have any questions about Steve or would like to discuss his suitability for your position, please feel free to contact me."

Step 4

Provide the recipient with two or three specific avenues for reaching you. Your email address and your business phone number will suffice. If you want to doubly reaffirm your belief in the candidate, you could even offer your personal cell-phone number.

Step 5

Choose your preferred closing word or phrase. “Sincerely,” “faithfully” or “with high hopes” are a few options. You must consider the tone you are going for in this selection. Words like "cordially" convey a certain informality and equality, while a word like "gratefully" offers more respect. Generally speaking, a more formal tone throughout a letter of recommendation is most appropriate.

About the Author

Toby Jones has been a writer since 1981. He has written sports articles and sermons, as well as two books, "The Gospel According to Rock" and "The Way of Jesus." Jones also teaches writing at preparatory schools and colleges. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from DePauw University and a Master of Divinity from Princeton University.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images