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“Encl” (Enc, Encls) in a Cover Letter: Meaning and Examples

“Encl” (Enc, Encls) in a Cover Letter: Meaning and Examples

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Hey, there! Welcome to Linguaholic. You must have been wondering what the notation “encl” stands for that’s why you’re here.

Or, you may already have some hunches in mind, but you just want to make sure whether using it on cover letters would make any difference or not.

Well, you’ve come to the right post for these concerns. So, let’s begin by knowing what “encl” means in a cover letter.


What does “encl” mean in a cover letter?

The notation “encl” is a shorthand term for “enclosed” or “enclosure,” which is used to inform the reader that there are other credential-related documents submitted together with the cover letter. These documents may include resumes, certificates, recommendation letters, and the like.


Different ways of adding an enclosure on a cover letter

Adding or citing enclosures can be done either by using abbreviations or the complete word format.

The enclosure notation is dependent on the writer’s habit, as well as the number of the documents included.

If the writer frequently or habitually writes enclosure citations in cover letters, we might observe the usage of the abbreviated notation rather than the full-word version.

Also, as the rules of the English grammar suggest, the singularity or plurality of an entity is generally marked by adding the suffix “-s” or “-es.”

And hence, the specific choice of notation should also adhere to the number of stand-alone documents included.

Here are the ways of citing an enclosure in a cover letter.


Enc.: vs. Enc:

When talking about business letters, “enc(.)” does not refer to “electronic navigational charts.”

Instead, it either stands for “enclosed” or “enclosure,” which means that one separate document comes together with the cover letter.

This document, most likely, is the printed resume or CV of an applicant, which lists his or her relevant skills and experiences about the job being applied for.

The period or full stop after “c” may or may not be omitted depending on the punctuation system format used in the entire letter.

Typical in British English, the relatively new open punctuation system which hates the rigidity of punctuation marks, allows the omission of the full stop.

At present, however, both open and closed punctuation systems are being utilized in American English.

So, choosing either of the two would not necessarily hurt the reader’s comprehension for as long as consistency is religiously observed throughout the letter.

But when in doubt, the default decision is to use the traditional closed punctuation system, which also means using the full stop after “c.”


Enclosing more than one document: Encs.: vs. Encs:

In relation to the earlier guideline, we can add the letter “s” to “enc(.)” to change it into its plural form.

This simply means that the suffix can be added when there are two or more documents enclosed with the cover letter.

Similar to the explanation earlier, the usage or omission of the period or full stop mainly depends on the writer’s discretion.

The open punctuation system, though, may easily invite the impression of lax or inexpressive writing, because punctuation marks intrinsically guide the rhythm and tone of the text.

So, again, the closed punctuation system may still be regarded as relatively more acceptable, not to mention familiar to most people, than the open one.


Encl.: vs. Encl:

Another way to notate enclosures is by using “encl(.),” which is one letter longer than the previous one explained.

This is simply an alternative abbreviation for “enclosed” or “enclosure” that would actually work for either singular or plural terms.

More technically speaking, the word “enclosure” is both a count and a noun count noun, but the difference was presented in the earlier sections for clarity.

Put simply, an expert reader would not necessarily find any issues whether you’re adding “s” or not.


Encls.: vs. Encls:

It is recommended to add the suffix “s” when referring to more than one enclosure.

While an expert wouldn’t find any issues on the pluralization, someone less familiar with business English notation system and grammar may easily assume that the missing s-suffix is a life-and-death situation.

So, to be safe, it would be better to use a suffix for multiple enclosures and avoid it when referring to a single document.

Doing so should also prompt the reader to go over all the documents you have included rather than flipping through the pages mindlessly.



If you feel uncomfortable using any of the abbreviated notations discussed earlier, you can simply write the full word “enclosure.”

This, for sure, would not invite any misinterpretation, especially if the one reading your cover letter is only new to the position.

It would be better to use this terminology when only one separate document comes with your cover letter.

When opting to use the full-word format, never use a full stop or period at the end of the word.



Lastly, as you may have guessed, you can also add the suffix “s” to the word “enclosure” to signal the reader that there are other reference documents apart from the cover letter.

Just make sure to double or even triple check if all mentioned enclosures have been included completely before sending the envelope to the receiver.

Wondering why I said “envelope”?

This is actually because using the notation “enclosure” is particularly used in printed letters rather than electronically forwarded ones.

If you’re sending out your cover letter and supporting documents via email, it would be best to use the term “attachments” instead.


How to format letter enclosure

Now that we’ve already seen the several ways of citing enclosures in printed cover letters, let’s also have a look at the format.

You can see enclosure notations at the bottom part of the letter, especially on the left-hand side right below the signature.

Here’s a step-by-step guide in formatting an enclosure notation.


Double space below the signature

When writing cover letters using the most common format, the block style, bear in mind that everything goes to the left.

This applies to all letter parts, from the address, salutation, body, closing remark, and, of course, the enclosure notation.

The notation may also be followed by a postscript message should you intend to do so.

But if not, then the cover letter ends with the enclosure notation.

Two line spaces after the signature or writer’s name should be skipped before writing or typing the first letter of the enclosure notation.

This is how the closing remark looks like.


Yours respectfully,


Lance Crawford


Choose the suitable enclosure notation (singular vs. plural)

Next, choose the enclosure notation variant you want, either the abbreviated or full-word format.

Once you’ve decided, consider how many separate documents you need to include to know whether you should write in plural or singular form.

Again, using “encl” alone would be sufficient because it may refer to either the plural or singular form of the word “enclosure,” as well as the verb “enclosed.”

But, if you want to consciously alert the reader that he or she must not miss out on any of the documents included, then use the suffix “s.”


Singular: Enc. or Encl. or Enclosure


Plural: Encs. or Encls. or Enclosures


Capitalize the first letter of the notation

The first letter of either the abbreviated or full word version must be written in the upper-case format, not in lowercase.

The following letters, however, should be written in lowercase. 

Also, capitalizing all letters is not encouraged either as it is associated with the emotion “anger” or “aggression.”


Correct: Enc., Encs., Encl., Encls., Enclosure, or Enclosures


Incorrect: enclosure and ENCLS.


Add a colon

If you’ve noticed in the previous section, all the variations were subsequently followed by a colon.

This is also the default format adhering to the closed punctuation system, which means that it is optional, as opposed to being strictly required.

If you’re more confident using the open punctuation system, then leave the colon out.

Otherwise, put one as a default decision.


Correct: Encl.:


Correct: Enclosure:


List down the name or type(s) of enclosure per line

Lastly, you must write the general title of each document included or enclosed with your cover letter.

For readability purposes, leave out one line space after the enclosure notation before listing down each document title in every line.

There’s no need to indicate the number of a single piece of document, meaning you do not need to write the number “1,” obviously enough.

But, if you have two or more copies of a particular document, indicate the number of copies you have included to guide the reader accordingly.





College diploma

2 passport-size photos


Frequently Asked Questions on “Encl” Cover Letter


What does enclosure mean at the end of a cover letter?

A cover letter enclosure, often abbreviated as “enc” or “encl,” means that other types of documents have been included by the writer for the reader’s reference apart from the cover letter.


What is the definition of a cover letter?

A cover letter is a type of document created by a job applicant to introduce the self together with relevant experiences, achievements, and skills during a job application process.


How can we write an enclosure in a cover letter?

We can write an enclosure notation at the bottom left part of the cover letter, right after the signature or name of the typist or writer. The notation can be abbreviated into “enc” or “encl” for convenience. Alternatively, the complete word “enclosure” or “enclosures” may also be used.


What is the difference between an enclosure and an attachment in a letter?

An enclosure is a separate or stand-alone document added by the applicant to add credential sources, like CVs and certificates. Whereas, an attachment refers to a document extension of any information briefly stated in the body of the letter, such as pie charts and graphs. The term “enclosure” is also found in printed documents, but “attachments” are present in electronic files.


Being able to include enclosure notations in a cover letter could actually influence the success of a job application.

Not only does it suggest attention to detail and writing competence, but it also makes the life of a recruiter a lot easier by actively inducing him or her to go over the other documents included.

Therefore, a cover letter without an enclosure notation when such documents are present means being one step closer to rejection.