Letter Writing Example: this is the first impression you will make. Make it a good one!

| April 5, 2013 | 0 Comments

Letter writing is a fundamental skill you will use in business and personal relationships to communicate information, goodwill, or friendship.  Here’s a basic guide on how to put your thoughts to paper in the correct format.

How you write your letter will depend on your relationship with the recipient.  These are some useful guidelines to follow –

  • If you are writing to a government official, prospective employer, dignitary, academic official or anyone else with whom you hope to have a professional relationship, the letter should be formal
  • If you are writing to your current employer, a co-worker you don’t see socially, a distant or elderly relative, or someone you don’t know very well, the letter should probably be semi-formal
  • If you are writing to a close friend, a close family member, or someone you know socially, the letter can be informal

The way you deliver your letter also indicates a degree of formality.  Formal business letters are typed.  However, if you know that the recipient prefers email,  then email will be the medium you will use.

Some Tips for Letter Writing

  • If you are printing a formal letter, use a paper that is heavier than copy paper
  • Write letters in blue or black ink
  • If you are sending a formal or semi-formal email, it helps to have a respectable email address.  “john.wilson” will be taken more seriously than “flyingsaucer777”, for instance
  • Try to keep the letter focused on the subjects that would interest the recipient
  • Avoid padding your letter out with unnecessary information, especially if you are writing a business letter

Be as reasonable and polite as possible when you are writing a complaint letter.  If you stick to that principle you are far more likely to get a favourable response.

Below we have given you an example that can be used a framework when you are letter writing.

Letter writing is the skill that is going to get you the business, the job or an improved relationship

You will want to look professional for a formal letter.  Use letterhead, or write your address at the top of the letter.


123 Stanmore Gardens
Rushmore, Ontario
WN1 980

23 June 2012

Mr A F Gould
Head of IT and Information
Global Software Development
120 Tennyson Way
Kingston, Ontario WN3 789

Start with a salutation or greeting.  The salutation you use will depend on your relationship with the recipient of the letter, as well as the level of formality of the letter.  Here are some possibilities –

For formal letters, where you don’t have a specific contact person to write to, you can start with –  To Whom It May Concern

If you are writing a formal letter and you do know a contact person, the safest salutation to use is “Dear –“.  Therefore –

Dear Mr Gould

If you are writing an informal letter or email, you can begin with Dear Andrew  or  Hi Andrew.

For a formal letter, use courtesy titles, such as Dr  or  Professor, or any military or government titles.

Straight to the point

If you are writing a business or other formal letter, get straight to the point.  You don’t want to waste the recipient’s time.

Thank you for scheduling a meeting at such short notice to discuss the system testing.  There has been one negative feedback report, and it is imperative that we sort this problem out before we proceed to the next stage.

Show interest

If you are writing a more personal letter, ask at the beginning after the recipient’s health.  For example – I hope you are well.

Stay focused

Ask yourself what needs to be communicated.  What does the recipient need to know?   Is there data that you need to include in order for the recipient to be able to make a decision? For a personal letter, thank her for the birthday gift or the advice.  Stay focused on what information you need to convey to the recipient.

This is not the first such mistake, and it is clear that we need to employ an expert in User Testing at the first opportunity, to prevent further mistakes and delays.

I shall come to the meeting on Wednesday 28 June, with the latest system report, together with the options for proceeding to Stage Two.

Use a complimentary close –

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Sincerely

Peter Williams

Systems Suppliers

The way you sign will depend on your relationship with the recipient – “Peter Williams” or simply “Peter”.

Proof read the letter two or three times, very carefully.  Nothing makes a worse impression than spelling or grammar mistakes.  Check that in your letter writing you have conveyed the right information.

Below we have given you an example that can be used as a framework for your own individual circumstances, while making the right impact with your letter writing.

The complete Letter Writing example

123 Stanmore Gardens
Rushmore, Ontario
WN1 980

23 June 2012

Mr A F Gould
Head of IT and Information
Global Software Development
120 Tennyson Way
Kingston, Ontario WN3 789

Dear Mr Gould

Thank you for scheduling a meeting at such short notice to discuss the system testing. There has been one negative feedback report, and it is imperative that we sort this problem out before we proceed to the next stage.

This is not the first such mistake, and it is clear that we need to employ an expert in User Testing at the first opportunity, to prevent further mistakes and delays.

I shall come to the meeting on Wednesday 28 June, with the latest system report, together with the options for proceeding to Stage Two.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Sincerely

Peter Williams
Systems Suppliers

More ideas for making a better impression with your letter writing –

  • Using simple language is best.  You just want to convey certain information in a way that it will not be misunderstood.  Don’t complicate things by using multi-syllabic words
  • Assess your relationship with the person to whom you are writing, and decide whether you need to be formal, or can relax and be less formal.  When in doubt, choose the formal approach

Download This Letter Example

Category: Business Letters Format Examples

About the Author ()

Melanie Walters is a writer and editor for several businesses both online and offline. Her experience with writing business letters and marketing materials has helped her understand exactly what works in written communication for businesses. In the 10 years she's been writing, Melanie has amassed a large collection of letter examples that she gladly shares with you here on Letter Example Help.org

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