Even with the popularity of email and instant messaging as forms of written communication, company executives still use business letters. When you craft a business letter, follow proper etiquette, regardless of your recipient, to ensure that the communication is professional and your message is clear. A business letter is a written form of communication that company owners and executives, consumers, job seekers, employees and community members use. The English Club, an online resource for writing and grammar, notes that business letters share ideas, provide information, accept and make offers, request information, offer thanks, send congratulations, introduce people, apologize and make recommendations.
People can format business letters in three ways: Practice proper business letter writing etiquette by selecting a format and following its rules throughout your letter.
Purdue University's Online Writing Lab notes that block letters are left justified and single-spaced, with double spacing between each paragraph. In modified-block letters, the sender's address and the recipient's address appear left-justified and single-spaced, while the date and closing are tabbed to the center. Semi-block, the least used of the three formats, follows the same rules as modified block, except that each paragraph is indented, not left justified. Business letters have specific formats and include several key portions.
It's proper etiquette to include the necessary sections in each business letter that you craft. At the top of the letter, type the date on which you wrote it. Begin all business letters with the following information, in this order:. Do not use any form of abbreviation. Typically no more than two to three line spaces follows this line. As a sign of respect, especially for first-time letters to someone you have never met, it is best to address the person properly as Miss, Ms, Mrs.
If the addressee has a designation, such as M. For example, list John Smith, M. Please remember Ms is a proper word requiring no period; it is not an abbreviation. When entering the name of a state type the entire name, such as Pennsylvania, not the postal code PA.
The postal code should only appear on the envelope. Follow this block of information with two line spaces. As you become better acquainted with the person, one style is to type in their proper name, then strike it out by pen and hand write their first name to show less formality. Follow this information with two line spaces. Only personal letters use a comma after the salutation and name.
The current style is to write letters in as conversational a manner as possible. Long gone are the days where letters were written to sound more formal in an attempt to elevate your level of professionalism and education. I like to write letters using a sandwich approach: Sandwiched in the middle, write the core information you want to convey.
Separate each paragraph of text with two line spaces. End letters with a cordial phrase you are comfortable using—Sincerely, Yours Truly, or Best Regards—followed by a comma. Depending on space left at the bottom of the sheet, allow four to five lines spaces for a signature. Type the name of the person who wrote and signed the letter, using both their first and last name.
In cases where a woman wishes to be addressed a specific way, be sure to add Mrs. If the letter is written by more than one person, include a signature line for each. At the bottom of the letter, typically two line spaces below the second signature line list notations for Enclosures, Postscripts, and Courtesy Copies.
When someone other than the author types and finalizes a letter, it is customary to include a line indicating who performed this work. Always print out a copy of your letter and read it before signing and mailing.
Look that the margins and format are pleasing to the eye. Conversational Being conversational while writing a letter doesn't mean scripting an imaginary conversation. Making references such as: Expressing regret, pleasure, anger, content, and dismay, add an element of curiosity for the reader. Convincing Since the whole idea of letter is to communicate, convincing becomes an inseparable part of the same.
This is especially true in the case of business proposals, offer letters, quotations, letters of complain, letters of request and apology letters. You must once again summarize all the key points and state the message in courteous and clear words.
Complete A complete letter means a letter which states the facts, explains the same, and makes a point. Do not deviate from the subject, by making vague references. This leads to confusion and languor, while reading the letter. Lastly, do not forget writing the correct name, date and address. An incorrectly spelled name can be taken as an offense by the addressee.
A sincere complimentary closing will mark the end of your letter. Parts of a Letter. Professional Letter Format Examples. Tips on Writing a Formal Invitation Letter. Letter to the Editor Format. Change of Address Letter.
Greeting and salutation: Letter writing protocol dictates business letters begin with “Dear” followed by the addressees honorific and last name, followed by a colon, not a comma. For example, write “Dear Dr. Smith:” Again, Dear Ms Smith is best for first time letters.
Definition. A business letter is a written form of communication that company owners and executives, consumers, job seekers, employees and community members use.
If you aim for accuracy, clarity, and coherence, and follow the basic rules of form and grammar, you can master the craft of writing business letters. The Parts of a Business Letter The format of a standard business letter includes these parts. Business letter writing can be quite daunting as there is proper etiquette to follow to convey a formal tone. You can know more from the business letter etiquette .
The first rule of letter writing is, clarity. This rule applies while writing both, business as well as personal letters. Without clarity a letter . Your company has expanded and you now have clients and business associates all over the world. Before you start sending out international business letters, learn more about the etiquette involved in writing them. When written appropriately, your business letters will be easy to read and won't unintentionally.