Business Etiquette/signature block


We are sending a traditional, paper letter.
What is the proper method to send this letter with a signature block that is not actually signed?
Thank you.

Good morning, Michele.

Thank you so much for your question regarding the signature block. Your question references a paper letter with a signature block that is not signed. As you may be aware, this is standard procedure for many emails that carry a corporate signature block but often no signature. In a paper letter, of course, this is a bit more unusual. I might consider asking someone else to sign for the person. (In this case an assistant, for example, would sign the person's name and follow it with a parenthesis with her own initials. It's a handy way of sending a letter in a person's absence.)

If, for whatever reason, that's not possible, I would simply type the person's name after the letter's close, i.e.,


Mary Smith

and then follow it by the standard signature block (generally in smaller type). A common signature block formula follows for you.

City, State, Zip Code
Fax Number
Phone Number
Website Address
Twitter Address (if applicable)

I hope this helps.


Vicky Oliver  

Business Etiquette

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Vicky Oliver


I am an expert on traditional American business etiquette, including dining rules and regulations for the 21st century, making a good first impression (and how to fix a bad one), meeting etiquette, conversational tips, and dressing for success. I also have written about new media etiquette--how to use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to enhance your professional reputation. I am not an expert on wedding etiquette or international business etiquette.


I am the author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Business Etiquette Questions (Skyhorse, 2010) and 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions (Sourcebooks, 2005). I have received over 301 media mentions on topics pertaining to business etiquette, job interviewing, and style on a budget.

Brown University Club in New York; Trinity Alumni & Alumnae Association

The Investment Professional Magazine; Crain's New York; The Charlotte Weekly;;; The Review Mom; Personal Finance

Brown University, B.A., English Honors; double major in Political Science

Awards and Honors
How-To Winner, Paris Book Festival; How-To Runner-Up, London Book Festival; Eric Hoffer Award First Runner-Up in Business;"Best Business: Career Book of 2010" in the National Best Books Awards.

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