This form of communication has been used for centuries and its main objective is to make people understand you. Recipients of letters cannot interpret tone of voice or read body language as they would during normal face to face conversing. Therefore, letters have to be precise and structured with proper sentences and paragraphs. This way the readers of your letters will be able to fully understand the points and thoughts you wish to convey.
Structure of the Letter
When writing professional letters, certain guidelines must be followed. Your return address and date need to be at the top of the page. The recipient’s address should then follow a few lines after this. Start your letter with a salutation or formal greeting. Then follows the body of the letter, containing suitable paragraphs. If possible, letters should be no more than one page. Use a formal closing, such as ‘sincerely’ or ‘kind regards’ and a few lines down, sign your name above your typed name. If attaching documents, under your typed name, add the word ‘enclosure’.
If you are relaying stories or descriptions, be specific with the depiction of details. Letter readers should be able to visualise exactly what you are writing about, whether it be an item, a colour or a story. Do not use abbreviations and use every day words that your reader will understand. Do not be afraid to quote precise statistics.
Write to your readers
People do not like being talked down to and do not want to receive a letter from a company that is obviously a mass produced letter sent out to many people. Make your readers feel like they are receiving a personal letter from an actual person. Always think of your readers as intelligent and well informed.
Use correct English
It is important to always use the correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. There are many programs or reference books, such as dictionaries and style guides that can assist with this. People tend to keep letters for future reference so, for this reason, always ensure that the proper spelling and the proper facts are contained in your letter.
Make Sentences Interesting
Sentences should always vary in length. Don’t be afraid to use punctuation such as commas, semi-colons and dashes. These will break up a sentence and hold the reader’s attention. To make a statement, use short to the point sentences. Draw other sentences out to hold the reader’s interest and use strong verbs and nouns to get your point across.
Professional letter writing is all about being correct, clear and concise. Letters should not have to be interpreted and analysed. They should be clear and straight to the point. It is important to always check your letters before posting them in envelopes. Readers will always pick up on a grammatical mistake. Never write a letter overflowing with complex and officious language which will portray an image of a writer full of self-importance. Your reader will be glad to receive an informative professional letter, written in easy to understand English, to which a personal touch has been added.
Author Bio: James is an accomplished business owner and currently is running 2 businesses of his own. In his spare time he likes writing business tips to help or encourage other first time entrepreneurs.