Most of us at work or business write e-mail or business correspondence but few of us can write an effective letter. In my previous life as a consultant with Deloitte Consulting, then a project manager for DHL, and now as a business owner, I found that the average letter is impersonal, overly-formal, longwinded and difficult or tedious to read. When you write a letter you create an image of you and your company in your reader's mind. A good letter should be effortless reading that makes you want to read more.
It should be clear and concise, with short sentences and simple words. It should keep to the facts and be easy to read and to understand.
I understand that most business related materials are boring zzz…. Evil, Al Capone, Kermit the frog and more. Read on to find out how you too can write a good letter and have a little fun too. This advice alone will help you write an effective letter.
That is why it is important to use the correct business letter format. Find out what a professional letter format looks like here. With reference to your classified advertisement in… With reference to your letter of 19 th June… With reference to our phone conversation yesterday afternoon… This element is important as a beginning because several days or weeks may go by before your letter is delivered, and it provides the recipient with the context of your letter or refreshes his or her mind.
Reason for writing Next, state your reason for writing: I am writing to inquire about your offer… I am writing to confirm delivery of… If you want to ask for something, be specific and humble: Could you possibly extend my deadline…?
If you are agreeing to a request, be specific and gracious: I would be delighted to speak to your organization about… If you must decline, be appreciative: Enclosed Documents Having given whatever information is required: I am enclosing my invoice, which details… or, more formally , Please find enclosed a copy of your letter… For more on enclosed documents, see: Closing remarks In your closing remarks, it is appropriate to: I look forward to hearing from you soon… I look forward to our meeting next week… I look forward to seeing you next Friday.
Initiating future contact At this point, if you expect the recipient to respond to you in a particular way for example, if you are asking the person to send you a document , specify in your letter how you expect him or her to respond: If you want the person to telephone you and are using company letterhead , the company telephone number will probably be on the stationery , but also provide your extension number or direct office number if you have one.
If you want a document sent to you by fax or email , you should also provide that number or confirm that email address. This contact information, when necessary, should be part of the heading. If you definitely need an answer from the recipient, you might enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for his or her convenience and mention this fact. This shows both your consideration and your desire for a response. Proofreading your letter Reread your letter, checking for typographical errors, misspelled words, grammatical problems, and for elements or information you omitted.
Example business letters Just as there is a standard form for business letters, which sets out the information that should be included in virtually every business letter, so there are also formulas that govern the content of specific business letters.
However, there are limitations to these materials. Assignments vary, and different instructors want different things from student writers. Therefore, the advice here may or may not apply to your writing situation. Finally, handouts can give only a fraction of the customized guidance that an individual conference with a Writing Center instructor can provide. If you have questions about the information in our handouts, please make an appointment to see a Writing Center instructor.
Ah, business letter format-there are block formats, and indented formats, and modified block formats. To simplify matters, we're demonstrating the block format on this page, one of the two most common formats. For authoritative advice about all the variations, we highly recommend The Gregg Reference Manual , 9th ed.
McGraw-Hill, , a great reference tool for workplace communications. There seems to be no consensus about such fine points as whether to skip a line after your return address and before the date: Let's hope that your business letter succeeds no matter which choice you make!
Ah, business letter format-there are block formats, and indented formats, and modified block formats and who knows what others. To simplify matters, we're demonstrating the block format on this page, one of the two most common formats.
People write business letters and emails for a variety of reasons--to request information, to conduct transactions, to secure employment, and so on. Effective business correspondence should be clear and concise, respectful in tone, and formatted properly.
This handout will help you write business letters required in many different situations, from applying for a job to requesting or delivering information. While the examples that are discussed specifically are the application letter and cover letter, this handout also highlights strategies for effective business writing in . Start with the basics on how to write a business letter using a general format and review various business letter templates. In addition, you can look at these employment related business letter examples. Review more details about formatting and take a look at another example of how to format a business letter.
Many bright people, perhaps you're one of them, go to great lengths to avoid writing business letters. Even when it means losing the business or customers. The threat of facing a blank page or a bare computer screen can be more powerful than the need to write a letter. The content of a business letter has five basic parts: (1) a reference, (2) the reason for writing, (3) a description of enclosed documents (if appropriate), (4) closing .