In communicating with clients, hiring managers, and candidates all day, there are tons of email and messages being sent back and forth.  Most of us have our set signature that we use every time.  I use “Thank you” and have colleagues who stick to “Regards” or “Kindly,” but what about the awkward decline email?  Not so appropriate for “thank you.”  Is “regards” then too formal? This was a topic of debate in our office last week so I will bring to you my takeaways and please comment below with your own ideas!

 

Thank you is always a safe bet.  When sending any form of message, whether LinkedIn Inmail or email, you can put “thank you” in your signature and it will be perceived as gracious and kind.  It is professional, but still open and gracious.  This is particularly helpful with clients and hiring managers, as we are always happy to collaborate with them.

Kindly is a bit too kind.  One should not have to out kindly if they are being kindly.  If your email is stating why a candidate is not a fit or pushing back with a hiring manager, your email is not as kind, per se, and saying kindly is probably perceived as a bit pretentious.  Not what you need, especially if you are trying to convince someone to see the good in your candidate.

Regards is the most professional.  If you use this in your signature in your emails, you are 100% safe.  This email translates well from a colleague, collaborator, and/or superior.  It is not over the top in any way.  However, you should probably stay away from this if LinkedIn is your main form of communication, as it is a bit too formal in this setting.  Mind you, if you are emailing an executive level via LinkedIn, stick with the formal signature.  I would rather come off as a bit too formal then junior.

Declination letters.  No matter how long you have been in HR and recruiting, it still stinks sending a candidate a let saying “thanks, but no thanks” and finding the right tone in your email signature makes it an even more daunting task.  We have already established that kindly is just inappropriate in these emails, regards might be a tad too formal, thank you can be a bit insensitive, so what do you use?  Sincerely?  Best wishes?? No, and nooooooo.  Just sign your name.  Chances are your email is giving them guidelines to either stay in touch or keep an eye at your job listings so the formality of the signature is really not needed at this point.  Sign your name with your email and number and call it a day.

 

Signatures set the tone for your relationship with the person you are working with or attempting to establish a relationship with.  They can make you more relatable or establish yourself as a seasoned professional, so put some time and thought into yours!  If you have any other ideas on some great signatures or disagree with our office consensus, please feel free to comment below with your ideas.  Collaboration is key and we would love to hear from you!

By Amanda Cunningham | People Science Talent Advisor