The end is coming.
For this column, the end is 750 words away, give or take a preposition or two.
For your enforced hibernation from the world, the end is coming closer, but, if you're like most people, it's still one or two vaccinations away.
The end is a good time to start thinking about a beginning, or so I decided after reading "How to End Any Professional Email (Plus a List of Sign-Offs for When You're Tired of Saying 'Best,')" a Regina Borsellino post on the job site The Muse.
The end about which Borsellino writes concerns the email you are going to send for your next job. And you will be sending an email, I trust. If you're considering a fusty, old-fashioned missive in an envelope with a stamp, reconsider. You're not applying for a job as Lady Violet's parlor maid in "Bridgerton."
Thinking about a new job could be life-affirming. It could also be income-affirming if you come back to the office to find that your boss was about to fire you before everything shut down and just never got around to it.
It could happen.
Starting your job-search email is simple. You can't get a better subject line than "Hey, Dude. Check it out."
In the body of the email, quickly affirm how amazing and successful the company is and how, if you are not hired immediately, it will definitely go belly-up. After that, you can babble on about all your relevant experience or, if you don't have any, your irrelevant experience. (The membership in the AV club in middle school is really paying off for you.)
We'll assume that you'll also include a few choice lines about salary and how you don't need to be paid to do work you truly love, and creating YouTube ads for Chia Pets is something you really, truly love. And, of course, casually name-check your dear friend who goes to the same gym as someone who went to summer camp with someone who once dated the CFO.
Which brings you to the end — ideally, an end that, according to Muse career coach Barb Girson, "can leave a lingering favorable impression and give a satisfying sense of completion."
One of most critical elements of a professional email ending is the closing line. "Even if someone is quickly scanning an email," Girson says, "they often read the last line." The best last lines include a "call to action" to reiterate to the recipient what you need from them.
There's no reason to beat around the bush when explaining what you need. Show your positivity and confidence with a final sentence such as, "It's clear that I am the best candidate for your job, so please have a large corner office ready on Monday when I will be starting, unless I get a better offer in the meantime. We can talk about the color of my Tesla when I get there."
Signing your email can be tricky.
Borsellino believes you should use your full name. I disagree. In today's fast-moving business world, relationships count. Why not create the impression that you are already a member of the team by sharing your nickname? Let your future employer understand they aren't hiring a cookie-cutter co-worker. They're hiring "Belch," or "Pork Chop" or "Butterbuns."
It is standard business etiquette that you should include your contact information. Again, I disagree. You'll stand out from other candidates if you shroud yourself in a cloak of mystery. I recommend "I could give you my email, but then the CIA would know it."
Now, there's a candidate no hiring manager could reject.
According to Borsellino, a formal signoff would be "Warm regards" or "Warm wishes." These may be warm, but they're definitely not hot. I recommend a signoff that works harder, such as: "You've had your chance. Don't blow it." Or, "You've seen the rest, now hire the best."
"Sending good vibes" is considered an appropriate signoff "when you're corresponding with someone you know well." This is true, assuming you want that person to deny they ever met you. If you're to take the "good vibrations" route, might as well go full Barbie and sign off with: "I wove you. I weally do."
We're told that one of the endings to avoid is "Peace Out!" Totally agree. To use this as a closing line is to indicate a subnormal intelligence in a person who has zero idea of what being a success in business is all about.
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at [email protected] To find out more about Bob Goldman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: gabrielle_cc at Pixabay