The Only Business Letter Format You Need to Know

An excellent business letter can revolutionize the way your company operates. If you write a good letter, you’ll build your relationship with your clients or another company. Following the proper business letter format can help you forge partnerships and foster customer allegiance.

But business letters also give you the opportunity to seriously mess up. A poorly-composed letter can tarnish your reputation and sever your relationships. This is true even if you’re not being intentionally unprofessional. As such, you need to know how to write a business letter. We’ll get into everything you need to know about the business letter format below.

Why Do You Need a Business Letter?

business letter format

Hiring managers often need to write business letters after they find their employees via ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter allows companies to create a free profile and post jobs within minutes. They also help you find qualified candidates and view their backgrounds before offering an interview.

In the day of emails, most people wrongly assume that letter writing is dead. But if your business exists for a long enough period of time, you’ll likely need to write a letter. Your business letter will likely either communicate to someone at another business or your clients or stakeholders. Many people appreciate a message that follows the business letter format when important, formal news is being shared.

In some cases, it’s even more appropriate to send a letter than it is to send an email. This is the case when a letter has been specifically requested from the recipient. Common types of business letters include letters of recommendation, employment verification, and even resignation letters. They can also be helpful for securing business deals.

The Best Business Letter Format

business letter format

Business letters can come in both print and digital format. In both cases, you’ll want to write the letter on your company’s official letterhead. This gives the document a more official and professional appearance.

You should always type out your letter. Handwriting gets hard to read and can cause miscommunications. If you’re mailing the letter, print it out.

People who plan to email the letter should save it as a PDF file. This prevents the recipient from making changes to the letter without your permission. Then, attach it to the email.

The Opening

In the top left corner, write the date you’re sending the letter.

Then, include the name of the recipient, followed by their title. On a new line, write the company’s name and address.

Always open your business letter by addressing it to the recipient. This involves confirming the spelling of their name and adding “Mr./Ms.” when appropriate.

If you don’t know to whom your letter should get addressed, write “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear *position title*.” If you’re writing to a board or committee, you can address it to the whole group.

The Body

Create a new paragraph to start the body of the letter.

Include a brief statement describing the purpose of the letter. Keep your words clear and to the point. Wordy or descriptive sentences might confuse the recipient.

The next paragraph should include additional information. Describe any details the person needs to know. For example, an email inviting someone to an event might include the event’s time and location as well as what to bring.

You’ll also want to discuss what steps you’d like the person to take next.

Close the body of the letter by encouraging the person to contact you or a specified colleague with questions. Include the contact information of whoever the recipient can reach out to.

The Conclusion

Once you’ve done this, you can sign the letter. Pick a closing salutation that matches the tone of your letter.

Someone writing a formal letter can use salutations such as “Respectfully yours,” or “Cordially.” If your letter is less formal, write something along the lines of “Regards,” or “All the best.”

Then, write your full name, along with your position and company.

Final Business Letter Writing Tips

business letter format

As you follow the business letter format, watch your tone. The words you choose and the way you string them together can impact your recipient’s view of you.

You should decide on the tone you want to use ahead of time. If you want to appear friendly and professional, use fewer formal words. People who want to appear more businesslike should use a more formal tone.

If you’re writing the letter because you’re hiring someone, consider matching the tone of your letter to the stylistic tone used by your brand.

In addition, check for spelling and grammatical errors. Even the slightest mistake can make you appear unprofessional.

Use Your Letter Writing to Attract More Talent

The business letter format can help you attract more talent to your company. When you’ve mastered letter writing skills, you’ll know how to present job offers to people who will help your business thrive.

But finding qualified candidates can be an issue if you don’t use ZipRecruiter. Create a free ZipRecruiter account to start looking at well-trained talent today!

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