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Does anyone still write 'Yours sincerely' at the end of a letter?
Thread poster: Christine Andersen

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:24
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Feb 27, 2013

In these days of e-mails, where everyone seems to start with 'Hi' or 'Hello' and end with something like Cheers, or possibly Best regards...

What is the correct thing to write at the end of a job application for a senior management position?

I have one to 'proofread'...
The client has written it herself in her best 'negotiation English' or whatever it is called.
It is not possible to re-write it to sound native without changing it beyond recognition, and perfect English is not a requirement for the job. So it has to be grammatically correct and understandable, but still her English and HER text, not a translation as I would have done it from Danish.

If/when she gets the job, it will be her spoken English, I expect, that is important.

But I am going to remove the worst bits of Danglish ...!

The applicant has had a cordial and friendly phone conversation with the HR manager, and starts off with

Dear Susanne ...
(Well, it's another woman's first name.)

I will suggest 'Dear Ms + surname.

The client wants to end with 'Kindest regards' - which simply sounds wrong to me.

As this is still a formal application, I would normally write good old 'Yours sincerely' at the end, however much everyone expected to revert to using first names at the interview.

I personally dislike all the variants of regards, which everyone simply seems to use ... but it's just a phrase, of course. Yours sincerely is no better if you really begin to think about it.

My question is: if Yours sincerely sounds totally 19th century, what is the up-to-date equivalent?

Is 'Kindest regards' the sort of thing everyone expects, and should I leave it?


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 09:24
Chinese to English
Too fussy! Feb 27, 2013

There's nothing wrong with "yours sincerely". I still use it. But you're right that these days people are much more relaxed. There's no need to change the phrase. And if they've spoken on the phone, and the addressee has invited her to use a first name, then that's OK, too.

 

B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:24
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Sincerely, Feb 27, 2013

Just call me old-fashioned, but I do use "Yours sincerely" and "Yours faithfully" in formal correspondence - the former where I know the person's name and the latter where I don't!

However, I also use "Sincerely," on its own if I want to be slightly less formal. I do also use "Regards", but baulk at "Kind regards", which sounds horribly patronising and insincere to me, even though people who I know are not being patronising do use it.

[Edited at 2013-02-27 10:13 GMT]


 

Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yup Feb 27, 2013

If the e-mail is formal, I write it just as if it were a formal letter, and that will probably include "yours sincerely".

I have just written an e-mail asking for a reference for an applicant. I addressed it "Dear Mr xxx", but in this case I finished with the ever so slightly less formal "yours", since this was a mail addressed to someone of similar professional status.

I receive all sorts of levels of formality in job applications. I favour the more formal ones. So I'm another in the "call me old-fashioned" camp. But I am 52. ;-(


 

Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
Kind regards Feb 27, 2013

Sorry, hadn't read your post all the way through. (V unprofessional!)

One of my colleagues sends me e-mails ending "kind regards", which I find weird. He's in his late 20s. We see each other every day, but use e-mail as a channel for things we haven't had a chance to comment on in passing during the day. In particular he uses this greeting when he's asking a favour!!

But I get the impression that this is what people are being recommended to use nowadays. But to me it sounds downright odd. Why kind? But then I suppose all of these set phrases sound odd if you think about them.


 

Signe Golly  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:24
Danish to English
+ ...
Simply Sincerely Feb 27, 2013

I'd probably go with just Sincerely and leave out 'yours'.
But then again, I'd probably also leave "Dear [first name]" - to me, the use of someone's last name when you've already spoken and presumably used each other's first names runs a much greater risk as coming off as outdated than "(yours) sincerely" ...assuming that the job in question is in Denmark?! If it's located in an English-speaking country, I guess using the last name would be appropriate/expected in this type of correspondence.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:24
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
delete Feb 27, 2013

delete

[Edited at 2013-02-27 11:04 GMT]


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:24
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Feb 27, 2013

@ Signe - good point.

I'll check where the application is going, but I think it is outside Denmark - it is a very international company.

You are quite right, and putting the 'Dear Ms + surname' at the top will be only a suggestion - as most of my changes will be, because the client knows the people at the receiving end better than I do.

But I definitely cringe at times when I am geared up to a formal letter and people like my bank adviser cheerfully use my first name, followed by a very formal style, the equivalent of

'Dear Christine

Further to our telephone call... '

-- which I have also seen.

I am going to suggest sorting out the register in this letter, because it swings, but it is a little more on the formal side.

Thanks to everyone for useful comments!


 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:24
Italian to English
It's fine Feb 27, 2013

In the days when I was applying for jobs, the only acceptable format would be "Yours faithfully", unless perhaps you already knew the person you were writing to.

I would say that the Formal - Informal range has nowadays been extended with terms used in e-mails etc.

I would probably put the order as follows (others will no doubt prefer a different order):

Yours faithfully
Sincerely
Yours sincerely
Yours
Regards
Kind regards
Kindest regards (for old aunts or in-laws perhaps)
followed by a vast range of options for close friends and relatives.

When the letter starts with a first name, the ending can't be too formal but IMHO "Kindest" is far too familiar in this case.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:24
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I use "Sincerely" Feb 27, 2013

Christine Andersen wrote:
As this is still a formal application, I would normally write good old 'Yours sincerely' at the end, however much everyone expected to revert to using first names at the interview.


For me, the important thing is that the name at the bottom of the mail is preceded by something, unless it is a very short and very informal e-mail that forms part of a longer chain of mails. I usually use "Sincerely" but when it is less formal, I something I just use "Thanks".


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:24
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
UK-resident opinions? Feb 27, 2013

I can't help noticing that most respondents don't live in their target language country (UK in this case). It would be interesting to get some more input from people who are really in touch and up to date.

After making this comment, I don't dare offer my opinionicon_wink.gif


 

Jessie LN  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
yep Feb 27, 2013

^ I live in the UK.

B D Finch wrote:

Just call me old-fashioned, but I do use "Yours sincerely" and "Yours faithfully" in formal correspondence - the former where I know the person's name and the latter where I don't!
[Edited at 2013-02-27 10:13 GMT]


Same here.

If it's email correspondence that isn't too formal, I'll put 'regards' or 'kind regards'. I'm not sure what else I could put! My most-hated sign-off is "best"... ugh.

[Edited at 2013-02-27 11:19 GMT]


 

Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:24
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Some thoughts Feb 27, 2013

Is this job application being sent by email or snail mail?

I'm in two minds here. If the applicant feels she is now on friendly terms with the HR manager, perhaps starting the missive with "Dear Susanne" is not so bad. I'm not so keen on "kind" or "kindest regards" myself, and in emails tend to use "best regards" or "regards", or even just "best" for people I know well.

On the other hand, it's an application for a job she hasn't got yet, so "Dear Ms Surname" might not be such a bad option, with "Yours sincerely" at the bottom.

My husband (not a translator) says he hates "kindest regards" and always uses "Yours sincerely", even in emails.

We are only ancient in the eyes of our children (nearly teenagers) and are physically in the UK, but mentally, who knows!icon_wink.gif


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:24
Hebrew to English
Snap! ...and Agree. Feb 27, 2013

Jessie Linardi wrote:

^ I live in the UK.

B D Finch wrote:

Just call me old-fashioned, but I do use "Yours sincerely" and "Yours faithfully" in formal correspondence - the former where I know the person's name and the latter where I don't!
[Edited at 2013-02-27 10:13 GMT]


Same here.

If it's email correspondence that isn't too formal, I'll put 'regards' or 'kind regards'. I'm not sure what else I could put! My most-hated sign-off is "best"... ugh.

[Edited at 2013-02-27 11:19 GMT]


Also still trapped in the UK and also inclined to put regards or kind regards. Just looked through my inbox, I saw:

"Best wishes" (UK company)
"Best wishes" (UK individual)
"Many thanks" (UK company, Hungarian Company)
"Best regards" (Israeli company)
"Sincerely" (Israeli company)
"Kind regards" (UK company)
"Kind regards" (Belgian company)
"Best regards" (Correspondence from ProZ)
"Yours sincerely" (Paypal)
"Sincerely" (American company)

There appears to be a great deal of variety and disagreement about the topic online.
http://www.netmanners.com/673/email-sign-off-considerations/


 

Heikki Särkkä  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 04:24
English to Finnish
Never heard Feb 27, 2013

I have to say that during the whole of my career I have never come across a single example of 'Kindest regards'.

 
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