Contents of a Business Letter • 1) The letter begins with your intention. State the purpose of your letter. • 2) Be clear and follow the conventions of the business letter. Business writing is highly structured. • 3) Always provide your audience with the necessary information to act upon your request, concern, etc. • 4) Be courteous, clear and direct. • 5) Use 1st person (I) and 3rd (he/she).
Format— • The heading gives the writer’s complete address, followed by the date. • The inside address is the recipient’s address, and it includes their name and address. The inside address appears 4-7 spaces below the heading. • The salutation opens the letter and begins with “Dear” and ends with a colon ( : ), not a comma (,).
Format— • For the salutation, if you do not know the person’s name, address them by their title. • The body of the letter should consist of single-spaced paragraphs with double-spacing between paragraphs. • Use a complimentary closing, such as “Sincerely,” or “Yours Truly” • The signature is both handwritten and typed.
Format-- • If a document is enclosed in the letter, type the word “Encl.” followed by the item enclosed. • Be sure to use a consistent style (Block vs. Semi-Block). Block style is totally left-justified. Semi-block shows the Heading and Closure offset towards the right side of the page. • Use a print size and type style that is easy to read. • Center the letter vertically (top to bottom) on the page.
Letter of Complaint • The letter of complaint is one of the most common, and is often written in response to a mistake that affects you, such as a defective product, poor service, etc. • Follow the same basic structure of the business letter.
Letter of Complaint • The first paragraph will describe the problem. Explain where and when you purchased a product or received service; provide copies of receipts, etc. • Describe how you’ve attempted to resolve the issue—to whom did you speak, etc. • Explain what solution you would like. Do you want a refund, credit or replacement? Be clear.
Letter of Application/ Cover Letter • Follow the same format for heading and inside address, as well as salutation. • In the first paragraph, explain what you are applying for, how you heard about it, and your chief qualification. • In the second paragraph, focus on how your skills meet the needs of the job. • In the third paragraph, request an interview and thank the reader.
Recommendation Request Letter • Follow the same business letter format for heading, inside address and salutation. • The first paragraph explains the situation—remind the reader of your relationship to him/her, then ask that person to write you a recommendation or a reference. • The second paragraph explains the position you are applying for.
Recommendation Request Letter • The last paragraph should explain the form the recommendation should take, whom to send it to, and where and when it needs to be sent.
The Follow-Up Letter • If your resume, cover letter, and application helped worked well for you, and you were granted an interview…You should send a follow up letter. • The letter follows the same form, but it should… • Open with a thank-you comment • Include a statement of your interest in the job, your potential value as an employee, a statement about your availability for answering further questions. • Contact information for how the interview can reach you.