Formatting tips for a Business Letter
So, you have to write a business letter. This is something that you may end up facing, and if your experience in writing is limited to essays and articles, you may have a brief moment of panic. Whether you’re writing a letter to an admissions expert to get into grad school, or writing a cover letter for a resume, business letters have their own formatting tricks and tips that are easy enough to fulfill—once you know what they are.
Here is a quick rundown of the technical requirements of a business letter for your reference:
Business Letter Addresses
First off include your return address. This should actually be the first thing included in the letter, on the left margin. This is because, in a busy business environment, envelopes and other information can easily get lost. Putting your address directly on the letter helps ensure that your recipient will be able to reply to your letter in a timely matter.
Below that, you include something called the “inside address”—this is the name, title and address for the person you are writing to. Again, if the letter is opened and the envelope is lost, this ensures the letter reaches its intended audience, especially if you’re sending it to a large business with multiple locations.
Business Letter Salutations and Closing Phrases
Your salutation should be formal and include the person’s title, if you know it—so, “Dear Dr. X”. If you don’t know the name of the person in question, use “Dear Sir or Madam”. Finish the salutation with a colon.
For your closing phrase, capitalize only the first word—it’s Yours truly, not Yours Truly. You then want to leave space before typing your name—about four lines. This is so you can sign your name between the closing phrase and your typed name. If there are any other bits of information—an enclosed attachment or notification of copes—that goes blow your typed name.
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