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How do you say goodbye?

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I would like to end my professional correspondance with something more meaningful and memorable than just:

 

Thanks

or

Thank you.

 

Some people like to use "regards" or "best wishes" but it seems to common.  Any ideas?  I love the idea of something catchy like "Till Niagra falls" which would kind of fit because I'm in natural resources, but is that too informal or wierd?  Do many people use quotes as thier signatures?  I probably just overthinking something simple, but was curious on what others choose to do.  How do you say "goodbye?' 

 

Till Niagra falls,

Melissa  

 

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I use thanks or thank you. I've never really considered it being my signature's job to make me memorable. "Till Niagra falls" is kind of cute, but mostly just seems gimmicky. If you really think that your signature is so important, it's probably better to stick with something safe so you don't risk putting someone off.

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Email closings are extremely awkward. I like "All the best", but in some situations it doesn't fit. I try make a statement that follows the tone or purpose of the email (e.g. looking forward to speaking with you, have a wonderful week, thanks again...). Sometimes I get stumped and just settle for "~Woosah".

 

FWIW, I've been told to steer clear of quotes.

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I usually go with "best" as well. I think it can fit almost any situation and does sound cold, grovely, too formal, or too personal.

 

I have to say, I really dislike quotes in signatures. The vast majority of the time they are just really cliched. The rest of the time they can just get really strange. This one lady at work would always say "time spent with animals is never time wasted." Seriously, what does that have to do with anything...I love animals more than most people and I STILL thought it was super lame. As bad as it sounds, I had a really hard time taking her seriously after that. It just seemed like such a strange way to sign every single email correspondence.

 

Even if the quote is good, it still isn't necessary and wont really accomplish much. I dont think its worth the risk of someone thinking its unprofessional.

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i say "best" for all non-super-formal correspondence; otherwise, i use "regards," as one of my LoR writers (who also helped me polish up my SoP to absolute perfection) informed me that it was the correct formal closing. 

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Depending on the situation, I use:

 

Best,

 

Best regards,

 

Warmly,

 

Fondly,

 

Many thanks,

 

I strongly advise against using quotations, pictures, colors, different fonts, etc. in your signature.

 

I currently work with university boards and major gift donors, so I've had a lot of practice on this one.    :-)

 

I opened this thinking it would be a thread about moving away for grad school, lol!

Edited by tuckerma

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I would try to steer clear of a memorable or "zippy" conclusion to emails.  I think, in a way, its important to close your email in the least obtrusive way possible because anything which smacks of being contrived is going to obliterate whatever memory they have of the more important body of your email.  To me, adding something catchy at the end is like saying "I'm not sure that the rest of my message is that important, why don't you just have this jingle to remember me by."  I know sometimes even a post script is distracting enough that I have to reread the email to remember what the meat of it was about because now my mind has just been erased by whatever random quote or send-off they added which threw me for a loop.  I'm a fan of a good ole "regards" or "best wishes" myself.  I tend to be a traditionalist in these things though, I'll go so far as to avoid contractions in a formal email.  

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If I'm making a request I'll close with some manner of appreciation over the person having taken the time to read it ("Thanks,"). Otherwise, people get a dash and my name (usually indicating finality or the formality associated with being a relative stranger) or they get nothing at all (which for me is a symbol of familiarity that says I don't feel like I need to be formal; you know who I am, so you don't need my name there, and you also don't need me to BS you with insincere, mostly automatic, social conventions).

 

Everything else just seems trite.

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I use Regards as my goto ending. I don't use Best Regards because all of my regards are the best! :) I use Kind Regards if they have done me a solid and I use Warm Regards when we have a rapport of some professional familiarity.

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If it's a regular semi-formal/work related email I go with "Regards". If it's a formal super polite email like the ones I initially sent my POIs, then I ended those with a "Thank you for your time" line followed by a "Sincerely."

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I usually use: Best, Best wishes or all my best. I always put thank you at the end of the e-mail content. 

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My main go-to goodbye is "Sincerely" but if I'm feeling crazy I might use "Regards," haha  :P 

 

If it's someone that has just given me great news (i.e., you've been accepted!) or has helped me out tremendously (i.e., Hey I just finished submitting your 13 letters of recommendation!) then I might finish with a "Kind Regards," "Warm Regards," or "Sincerest Regards."

 

And before I say any of that, I add in a lighthearted line like "Have a great weekend." or "I hope you have a happy Friday!" etc., and then finish with "Sincerely, ..."

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I steer clear of "Regards" because of a bad experience a friend had once. He typed his closing instead of using a signature, and accidentally hit a t instead of g (they are very close to each other). So his email to his boss said:

 

Retards,

John

 

 

....I just use "Thanks" or "Sincerely" because now I am paranoid! 

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I steer clear of "Regards" because of a bad experience a friend had once. He typed his closing instead of using a signature, and accidentally hit a t instead of g (they are very close to each other). So his email to his boss said:

 

Retards,

John

 

 

....I just use "Thanks" or "Sincerely" because now I am paranoid! 

 

 

I have nothing useful to add, but this totally cracked me up at work...Then I had to tell my boss what was funny. So then it became less funny...

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For "non-professional" email, I usually just end it with my name, no closing. "Non-professional" to me means "internal" emails, e.g. a note to my supervisor, or an email to a colleague/friend. I only do this for the first email though -- for long email chains, I usually just type the message -- no greeting, no closing.

 

One exception is when I am making a request of someone (e.g. asking for a class notes) then I usually sign it with "Thanks" even if it's "non-professional".

 

For "professional" email, (i.e. mails outside of my department/school), then most of these are requests, so I use "Thanks". If I am responding to a request (usually answering a question), I use "Sincerely". I don't think I write very many external emails that are not one or the other, but I suppose I would occasionally use "Regards" or "Best wishes" or "Have a good day," or "See you soon" (if applicable).

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I sometimes use "With Gratitude," when the situation is appropriate to serve as a more thoughtful version of "Thanks," - but to each their own!

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I have nothing useful to add, but this totally cracked me up at work...Then I had to tell my boss what was funny. So then it became less funny...

is your boss strict?  my boss would've laughed more

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Best wishes (fail-save for all scenarios)

Best (for people I know personally, close colleagues)

Yours (bit more affectionate than Best, used quite often)

 

I don't think memorable should be a quality of your sign-off. You want to come across as professional, mature and aware of social conventions in all correspondence. Any sort of catchphrase such as "Till Niagara Falls" does not achieve that. It suggests a hotmail account with 'xox' in the name and excessive use of coloured hearts. None of those things will impress professors...

Edited by St Andrews Lynx

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Oh my God - please, please, whatever you do - do not put a quotation in your email signature, especially if it's some kind of inspirational BS that's butchered, misinterpreted, or misattributed (i.e. "Be the change..."). The only thing worse would be putting said quotation in a cursive font type, italicized, in pink or purple. Shudder. That kind of email behavior would make me think you're a) a tween who probably still has braces or B) a corny old person who doesn't know how to use the Internet.

 

As for "'Til Niagara falls", I would say that would only ever be appropriate if you know the person really well, as in you have an established rapport, and you know that person appreciates cutesy, corny humor. This is not outside the realm of possibility with someone you know in a professional context, but probably impossible if you have never met the email recipient in person.

 

I would second everyone who suggested Best Regards, Best, Sincerely, Thank You, etc. I understand not wanting your emails to sound cold or impersonal, but I think there are ways to warm up the language in the body of the email that won't veer off into the unprofessional or juvenile. 

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As for quotes in email signatures, I've seen them a lot in faculty emails (but never from grad students!) They usually come after the standard "signature block" (Prof Name/School/Phone#/Address etc.) that often get automatically added. One faculty member I know uses a quote from Carl Sagan and I have noticed it changes once or twice a year.

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