How To Write Business Letters
One of the most useful skills you can have in your professional arsenal is to know how to write business letters. It will help you regardless of your field. We're going to use the block format, because it's the most common. Learn how to write business letters and watch your professional profile soar!
- The entire letter should be left justified and single spaced. In using the block format to write business letters, you want to have the entire letter, including the date, addresses, salutation et cetera, left justified. It should all be single spaced, with one space skipped between paragraphs. No indentations, please!
- Use the date on which the letter was completed. The date on a business letter is meant to signify when it was written, but if it takes more than one day, use the date on which it was completed, even if you send it a month later. Left justify the date and type it in the long form: August 6th, 2010.
- Sender's address. Skip one line and type the sender's street address, with zip or postal code. Don't include the title and name as they will be in your closing.
- Inside address. Skip one line and type the title, name and address of the recipient. If the recipient is female and you do not know her marital status, use "Ms." If it is an international address, type the name of the country last, and in all CAPS. Keep it left justified.
- Salutation. Skip one line and keep it left justified. Unless you are positive that you (or the sender) are on a first name basis with the recipient, address the person by title. Use Dear, and follow it with a colon. If you are unsure of the recipient's gender, use the full name (Dear Lee Jones:).
- Body. Skip one line. Be professional and courteous, and proofread your letter. Keep it left justified, and skip one line after each paragraph. Be concise and don't flood the recipient with extraneous details. Include the background information and details that are necessary to support your main point, end with a reiteration of that point, and close.
- Closing. Skip one line. I recommend that you use "Sincerely." Make sure to capitalize it and follow it with a comma, then skip four lines to make room for the handwritten signature. Type the sender's full name.
- Enclosures. If documents are enclosed, skip one line and simply type the word "Enclosures." You may list the documents by name, but this is optional.