Writing cover letters - Useful phrases: Yours faithfully or Yours sincerely

Do you present yourself in a professional manner when you write job or postdoc applications? In short, you want to give a professional image when you write to Employers. To get you started, we've prepared some lists of standard phrases.

Opening lines

Why do we need an opening line in a cover letter or formal email?

- to make reference to previous correspondence
- to say how you found the recipient's name/address or vacancy advert
- to say why you are writing to the recipient.

10 Good Opening Lines:

With reference to your letter of 8 June, I ...
I am writing to enquire about ...
After having seen your advertisement in ... , I would like ...
After having received your address from ... , I ...
I received your address from ... and would like ...
We/I recently wrote to you about ...
Thank you for your letter of 8 May.
Thank you for your letter regarding ...
Thank you for your letter/e-mail about ...
In reply to your letter of 8 May, ...

Closing lines

Why do we need a closing line in a cover letter or email?

- to make a reference to a future event
- to repeat an apology
- to offer help

10 Good Closing Lines:

If you require any further information, feel free to contact me.
I look forward to your reply.
I look forward to hearing from you.
I look forward to seeing you.
Please advise as necessary.
We look forward to a successful working relationship in the future.
Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Once again, I apologise for any inconvenience.
We hope that we may continue to rely on your valued custom.
I would appreciate your immediate attention to this matter.

When 'Yours faithfully' and when 'Yours sincerely' in a business letter?

When the recipient's name is unknown to you:

Dear Sir ... Yours faithfully
Dear Madam ... Yours faithfully
Dear Sir or Madam ... Yours faithfully

When you know the recipient's name:

Dear Mr Hanson ... Yours sincerely
Dear Mrs Hanson ... Yours sincerely
Dear Miss Hanson ... Yours sincerely
Dear Ms Hanson ... Yours sincerely

When addressing a good friend or colleague:

Dear Jack ... Best wishes/Best regards

Addressing whole departments:

Dear Sirs ... Yours faithfully

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