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The best (and worst) ways to sign off a work email

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While the content of your automated email signature is certainly nothing to lose sleep over, it does convey something about you, whether you recognize it or not. Perhaps the most important aspect is your valediction – or your sign off – as you have more freedom to make choices.

What’s the strongest way to end a work email? We conducted an informal poll of bankers to find out their favorites, along with those that make their skin crawl.

1. No valediction: This appears the most popular, particularly for more experienced Wall Streeters. No “warmest regards” or any other cliché. You end your email and have it roll right into your signature.

“It says you’re all business,” said one former investment banker, who picked it up from their boss. “It was intimidating and made you move.”

2. Best: The clear second choice, “best” is vanilla enough to not say much about you or your relationship with the email recipient. It’s “safe.” A simple “regards” is in the same camp.

3. Sincerely: “What are you living in the 19th century?” said another banker. “Sincerely” is old, stodgy and overly formal. “Maybe for a cover letter, but not in the office.”

4. Cheers: Only if you’re living in the U.K.

5. Thanks/Thank you: Unless you want to stamp “young and inexperienced” on your forehead, steer clear of thanking everyone under the sun in emails. It’s overly gracious but more so it “exudes weakness,” said one VP at an investment bank. It’s seemingly small, but constantly thanking someone in work exchanges subconsciously places you on the bottom rung.  “And whatever you do, no exclamation points,” he said.

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Comments (23)

Comments
  1. If this is genuine then the guy who does not sign off for that reason is a delusional no-mark. Whatever next.
    Best love and cuddles
    JimBob

  2. That’ll do pig. That’ll do

  3. Depends on the situation. If communicating work with someone you interact with frequently, no sign off is necessary. If you receive a schedule, the sender appreciates at least an “OK” to know you’ve received the message. If someone gives you a valuable headsup, you can say something like “Appreciate the notice” so they’ll feel like being helpful again. Be a genuine nice person while not wasting your own and other’s time.

  4. Evidently for those who work on Wall St. courtesy and manners are not principle values. I do thank readers of my emails if they have responded to a request or helped with an issue or problem, to do otherwise is crude and impolite.

  5. I am certainly not young and inexperienced but I do think that thanking people puts one at the top of the rung, not at the bottom. People like to be appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Absolutely feel free to thank people!! Most bankers do not have a problem of looking “weak”, but rather the opposite. Being abrassive is bad for business. The best senior bankers I know are polite and gracious (even when they don’t mean it)

    If you truly have power you do not need to to push people around directly (much less yell at them). They already know they have to jump through hoops for you. If you thank them for doing what they already know they have to do, then you create rapport and improve team spirit.

    Plus, it gives you another arrow in your quiver. When I write a curt email, people know they are on probation without me having to raise my voice or give further explanations.

    Anger, screaming and hostility are all signs of weakness.

  7. I am certainly not young (except at heart!!) or inexperienced! I do, however, think that thanking people elevates one, not puts that them on the bottom rung! People like to be appreciated!!!!!!!

  8. If folks are concerned about how I sign off on my e-mail’s, or how I do it somehow qualifies me or disqualifies me as being powerful, well then there’s a new definition to petty. For real.

  9. When I first started a new job, I noticed that everyone used the valediction “Regards”. I thought it was odd until I figured out that the CEO used that term and so these morons were all copying him thinking that would get them ahead in the company. NOT! It only showed that they were too stupid to be original.

  10. “Have a wonderful day! All the best; best wishes, love you!!!! :-)”

  11. I have to give a second to Equivocation’s post. If you have to yell or scream, you are not an employer, you are a tyrant. The folks that really have the power do not need to belittle or be rude. They are overall extremely nice, polite, we’ll-mannered gentlemen and women. Those with real power are courteous as they know the value of manners. You do jot realize it, but a simple thank you actually goes a long way to accomplishing what you want. Do YOU want to go the extra mile for someone you know will not appreciate it? I know I certainly will not, and the key to power is getting other people to do what you want willingly.

  12. This is absolutly insane. If manners are an issue…BRING em on! I don’t care who you are, Text msgs and emails will never be anything different from a standard formal letter. Read your email twice. If your working with people that judge you from text or emails……These tools have been elevated far beyond. I will respond to your text and email when time permits. If you have any values or treat anyone with any sense of worth, you will pick up the phone or contact us directly.

  13. What ever you decide to use be quick and original, nothing works as well, BUT PLEASE don’t end every email with “Thanks so much!”

  14. The banksters are only after one thing…………

  15. ‘Places you on the bottom rung’…Really?? What a sad state of affairs for the industry. Keep it real…I always use ‘Thanks,’…it’s a must…I’m Canadian!

  16. Being polite is a sign of weakness? In declining corporate culture.

  17. It depends who you are working with and if it is the only email you will send them that week.

    Peace-out knee-grow is perfectly acceptable if you are doing some equity analysis on a South London drugs cartel that wants to formalise the equity stakes of its bredren, for example.

  18. I always go with Elvisly yours.

    Elvisly yours,

    wankat

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