You need to take great care when writing business letters. These documents are records of your professionalism and intentions. When you write one, you are not only delivering information, you are doing it as a representative of your company, putting your and their reputation on the line. The perceptions of both will be shaped by not just the information, but the way you relay it.
Basic Approach to Content
Whether a letter of inquiry, request, complaint, or termination, the letter should contain an introductory paragraph that clearly states the document’s purpose. Follow with a main body that outlines the points that need to be made. A complaint or termination letter may need more detail than a request or new hire letter, so the subject will dictate the length. The concluding paragraph will outline action to be taken by any involved parties.
Know Who You’re Writing For
Effective business letters are written with the reader(s) in mind. Organize thoughts beforehand and once you start, keep it brief. People at work are busy, and wordiness can lead to scanning and people possibly setting your letters aside altogether.
Do’s & Don’ts of Business Letters
- Use a formal voice, even if you are familiar with the recipient. You cannot anticipate who else may need to read the letter at some point.
- Do not use “don’t” or “can’t” or any other contractions. Always go with “do not” or “cannot.”
- Outside of academia or medical and scientific letters, usage of large words should be kept to a minimum.
- Avoid pointing fingers even if you want to. Conversations can cover the specifics, but letters don’t need to. Don’t write, “You should have seen this project through.” Go with, “There is no reason why this project was not completed on time.”
- Stay away from the passive voice.
- Never use slang.
- Address people by their titles.
- Carefully proofread. Do not rely on your word processor’s tools to review the document. If possible, have another set of eyes review the letter.
- Whatever your letter’s intent, try to end with a conclusion conducive to all parties.
Resume-Now has a wealth of material on writing business letters, cover letters, and resumes. They are all top-of-the-line resources like Resume Builder, a great tool for developing your credentials for job searches.
Business Letter Examples and Writing Guide :
- Writing the Full Time to Part Time Resignation Letter (with Sample)
- Character Reference Letters
- Recommendation Letters
- Reference Letters
- Sample thank you letter
- Sample Thank You Letter for a Job Offer
- Sample Letter Thanking a Prospective Co-Worker
- Email letter - Types of cover letters
- Networking letter - Types of cover letters
- Two Weeks Notice Letters
- Writing a Solicited Application Letter
- Unsolicited Application Letter
- The Teacher's Assistant Recommendation Letter
- Writing a Letter of Appreciation for a Job Well Done
- Details for a Salary Requirement Letter
- Apology Letter for Mistake at Work
- Apology Letter for Being Late
- Termination Letter Due to Poor Performance
- Apology Letter to Boss for Misconduct
- The Job Appointment Letter
- Sick Leave Letter
- Resignation Letter Due to Family Reasons
- The Job Change Announcement Letter
- Resignation Letter for Transfer Within the Same Company
- Bereavement Leave Letter
- Resignation Letter from Fulltime to PRN
- Family Emergency Leave Letter
- How to Write a Vacation Leave Letter
- What If You Forgot To Send a Thank You Note After Your Job Interview? (Sample)
- Example of a Cold Call Letter of Interest for a Company or Job (Template)
- How to Write a Resignation Letter Due to Personal Reasons
- What You Need to Know About a Medical Leave Letter from Your Doctor
- Sample Follow-Up Letter To Send After Being Rejected for a Job
- A Promotion Announcement Letter is More Than a Pat-on-the-Back