When writing a business letter, there are several things you need to be aware of. Basically though, you need to keep things simple and straight to the point. Here are the basic guidelines.
Formatting to Use
Do not indent any of the paragraphs. Unless specified otherwise, the block style is preferred. Write the address of the person / company at the top of the page. This address needs to be under your own company address.
On your word processor, make a double space. Type the date (it can be on the left or right side). The main body must be at the center of the letter. Set as many spaces as needed to achieve this. When writing a business letter, address the recipient as Mr. or Ms. If your recipient has a title, use it (i.e., Dr., senator, attorney etc).
Phrases to Use
Start your letter by pointing out a reference (“this is with regards to our last discussion…”). Next state your objective (“I am writing to clarify some issues regarding..,”). Write down any requests (“I would appreciate it if you could provide…”). Let the recipient know if you are expecting a reply (“I will be looking forward to your reply…”)
Don’t forget to include a thank you in the end. Place four spaces before adding your full name. Add your title too. Sign it.
When writing a business letter, make it as formal as possible. Don’t write words like “can’t” or won’t”. Use “cannot”, “would not” etc. However, you should avoid overly elaborate sentences. Keep the letter structure formal yet concise. Check your grammar and spelling. All word processors have these functions so use it.
Use easy to read fonts like Times New Roman or Arial. Almost all business letters will require just one font. Don’t use bold, italics or caps unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Proof reading your letter is mandatory. Start by typing your
letter. Now run the spell checker and grammar. After you’re done writing a business letter, read it. Print it out if necessary. Make the necessary corrections. Pay close attention to the spelling of the names.
Tips and Other Reminders
If your letter is to clarify a transaction, state the issues as clearly as possible. Avoid adding any superfluous details. If you’re writing to confirm a date or order, set down the precise date, the amount you’re ordering etc.
For business proposals, state the facts as precisely as possible. Your business proposal should emphasize your points without being too pushy. When making a request, be polite without being condescending.
You can use templates to write your letter. These are available in word processors and in various websites. You might want to change a little bit of the styles though. Using the default template will make it obvious you didn’t format the letter.
The bottom line: when writing a business letter it should drive the point across clearly. Make no mistake about it: a well written letter will have a positive impact and improve perception about you.