How to Write a Letter : Follow Easy-to-learn Steps
How to Write a Letter in a polished, professional way? Most business letters follow an established, easy-to-learn format that you can adapt to any type of content.
A letter should always contain the date, information about the sender and recipient, and a few body paragraphs. Follow these steps and modify them as necessary to fit your standards.
How to Write a Letter : Beginning the Letter
Include information about company. List company name and the company address, with each part of the address written on a different line.
|self-employed or an independent contractor||add name either in place of the company name or above it|
|a pre-designed letterhead||use instead of typing out company & address|
|typing out the address||appear either right or left-justified at the top of the page|
|sending the letter to an international location||type out the country in capital letters|
Include the date. Writing out the full date is the most professional choice.
Add the recipient’s information. Write out the recipient’s full name, title, company name, and address in that order, with each piece of information on a separate line.
Choose a salutation. Your use will depend on whether you know the person to whom you’re writing, how well you know them and the level of formality in your relationship. Consider the following options:
Employ “To Whom It May Concern” only if you don’t know whom, specifically, you’re addressing.
If you do not know the recipient well, “Dear Sir/Madam” is a safe choice.
You may also use the recipient’s title and last name, e.g. “Dear Dr. Smith.”
How to Write a Letter : Composing the Body
Strike the right tone. Time is money, as the saying goes, and most business people hate to waste time. The tone of letter should be brief and professional. Make your letter a quick read by diving straight into the matter and keeping your comments brief. Don’t concern yourself with flowery transitions, big words, or lengthy, meandering sentences. Communicate what needs to be said as quickly and cleanly as possible.
Be persuasive in your letter.
Use personal pronouns. It is perfectly fine to use “I,” “we,” and “you” in your business letter. Refer yourself as “I” and reader as “you.” While writing the letter on an organization’s behalf, you should use “we” so that the reader knows that the company stands behind the statement.
Write clearly and concisely. The reader will only respond quickly when the meaning is crystal clear. Result or action you wish to take because of letter, state what it is. Explain position in as few words as possible.
Use the active voice. Ensure to choose the active voice when describing a situation or making a request. The passive voice can make writing ambiguous or impersonal whereas the active voice is more streamlined and straight to the point.
Be conversational when appropriate. Letters are written by people to people. Avoid form letters. You cannot build a relationship with canned impersonal letters. Use judgment while determining personality.
Be courteous. While even writing a complaint, you must be courteous.
Use the “second-page” letterhead for additional pages. Most business letters should be concise enough to be one page in length only. You may want to include the recipient’s name and the date.
Wrap it up. In the last paragraph, summarize the points and clearly outline either planned course of action or what you expect from the recipient.
How to Write a Letter : Closing the Letter
Choose a closing. The closing, like the salutation, is an indicator of respect and formality. “Yours sincerely” or “Sincerely” is generally a safe bet; also consider “Cordially,” “Respectfully,” “Regards” and “Yours Truly.”
Sign the letter. Leave about four lines empty for signature. Sign the letter after you’ve printed it, or, if you’re sending it via email, scan an image of signature and affix it to the part of the letter. Blue or black ink is preferred.
Include your typed name and contact information. Beneath the signature, type name, title, phone number, email address and any other applicable means of contact, writing in each line.
Add the typist’s initials. You should add person’s initials below the signature block while someone other than the writer typed up the letter.
Make note of enclosures. If you’ve enclosed additional documents for the recipient to review, note this a few lines beneath your contact info by noting the number and type of documents. For example, write: “Enclosures (2): resume, brochure.”
You can also abbreviate “Enclosures” by writing “Encl.” or “Enc.”
Add additional recipients’ names. While you are sending a copy of the letter to another person, you must include this in the letter. This is noted by typing “cc:” below the “Enclosures” line, which stands for “courtesy copy.”
How to Write a Letter : Finalizing the Letter
Edit the letter. Presentation is a key element of getting professional. Ensure that the recipient easily see that you edit letter for errors before sending them. Run spellcheck on word processor, and give the letter a thorough read before you send it.
Don’t staple letter. Staples are generally avoided in case of multiple pages. For ensuring the papers stay in order, use a paperclip at the top left corner.
Post the letter. Send the letter via post in a business envelope with the company logo printed on it. Neatly print return address and the recipient’s address. Fold the letter into third parts, ensuring to affix sufficient postage and send it off. If the handwriting is messy and doesn’t match professional persona, type the addresses in word processor and run the envelope through printer for address typing. When letter is extremely important with time-sensitivity, deliver it by courier. For emailing the letter, convert the letter in HTML or PDF to preserve formatting, although it is better to send the physical letter.
Now, these easy-to-learn steps will definitely help and assist you in how to write a letter.