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Five Business Letter Basics

Categories: Business Writing

There are many occasions where you might still need to make use of a formal business letter...

  • Cover letters for proposals
  • Job application letters
  • Sales-related letters
Because you want to make a professional impression in a business letter, pay attention to these Five Business Letter Best Practices:
  1. Make sure your letter is direct, to the point, and easily understood.
  2. Keep boldface and exclamation points to a minimum.
  3. Check your spelling and punctuation. Spell check is great, but it won’t catch many things, such as writing the word “there” when what you meant was “their.”
  4. Follow a business letter format like the one below.

DATE: Date, month and year.

RECIPIENT NAME: Full name with Mr. or Ms., unless the person you are writing to is a doctor (Dr.), other professional (Rev., etc.) or you know a woman prefers “Mrs.” Always check to ensure that the person’s name is spelled correctly.

TITLE: If you know it, use it.

ADDRESS: Don’t forget suite numbers or floors.

SALUTATION: Always use a person’s name, never “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam.”

BODY OF LETTER: This is where you provide the information you need to convey and list any items that require action. Stay on topic, be specific, and use a polite tone.

SIGNATURE: Use your full name with your title and the name of your business underneath. You can sign in different color ink for emphasis; signing a first name is more informal.

MISCELLANEOUS: List any enclosures or copies being sent with the letter.

So, now you have some business letter basics – but, do you know how to correctly write a business memo or e-mail. Stay tuned…

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