When you think of writing a letter, the first thing, which will come to you, is to whom you will send the letter to. If the recipient is a friend then the tone will be informal where professional letters need you to be very formal and to give a positive light to your letter. Remember why you are writing the letter as you would not like to wander away from your point.
Write your address if you are not using a letterhead, recipient’s name, address and contact information which is also known as ‘inside address.’ When you write the date, make sure you write the full date without using the abbreviations e.g. December 15, 2012. Give a proper opening on the left side of the paper followed by a comma.
While writing a letter you should be very respectful towards the recipient even if you are complaining about something. Keep yourself to the point and be succinct. You should not leave out any important information or the purpose of writing a letter will be lost. It would be better to somehow fit your letter in one page as nowadays people do not have time and patience to go through them. But if your letter is of two pages make sure you use another page and do not write at the back of the same page. If you can take your company’s letterhead pages it would be better than the plain pages and you will not have to write your address in the beginning. Professional letters including the business letters should be printed and not handwritten. Business letters are usually swaying marketing a particular product, idea or a firm. The opening of a business letter is direct about your objective. Summarize your letter in the opening paragraph. The body is the most important part of your letter which defines the reason behind your letter in detail while do not lose your position by making it too detailed. In closing paragraph, mention it if you are seeking a response to your letter. Close your letter with ‘regards’ or ‘respectfully’ on the right or left side of the paper with your name and signature.
The most important thing is to keep in mind the audience you are writing for. For example, if you are writing a letter to the human resource department of a pharmaceutical company, remember not to use highly specific medical terms as doctors or pharmacists won’t be sitting in the human resource department. And be clear about what you want as most people won’t like to keep guessing the intention. Once completed, read the letter once again, make corrections if needed and be very careful about grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
Lastly, write the recipient’s address on the front of the envelope and yours on the back side. Fold your letter into thirds, keeping the top part slightly longer than the other two so that it would be easier to open the letter. Finally seal it and post it with a stamp.