Having to write a letter is indeed not an easy thing to do especially if you have no idea how to go about starting your letter and how your contents would look like. Well, it’s actually not that difficult – all you have to do is know its basic parts. They are as follows:
The heading should be on company letterhead, if not on the company letterhead, then the company’s name and address needs to be written at the place where the header would be. This makes your letter more professional.
Date- You need to put the date on your letter. It should be under the heading, using the month, the day, comma, and the year. Then you write the date two inches from the top and left justify.
Addresses- This is where you put address the addressee using the name, the address, and postal code.
Subject- addressee’s address and before the greeting. The subject line tells your reader what the letter is about. Keep the subject about three or four lines.
Salutations-The salutation is your greeting. Most begin with Dear followed by the recipient’s name and title. If you don’t know the gender of the person, try to use a salutation that is non-sexist. Using the full name is also acceptable if you don’t know the person’s gender.
Body -This is the part that says why you have written; in a simple, straight forward manner. In this part you explain your subject sentence and substantiate it.. For every point you make, start a new paragraph. Each paragraph is justifying the main point. Make sure that your point is defined in each paragraph.
Ending- You should use a sincere ending. Your ending should convey your sincere thanks for the time they took to read your letter.
Name – Your name should be typed below your hand written signature.
Above your printed name, hand written your signature.
Initials – If you wrote the business letter, yourself, omit the initials. If you are a typist or a secretary, then you would put your boss’s initials then a colon and your initials.
Postscripts- A postscript is when the things you add to a letter are not relevant to the letter. When you add a note at the end of the letter, you are relating something you feel is necessary to the letter. However you need to still keep it professional.
Two common formats used are the block format and the other is the modified block format. Block format is when the entire letter is justified as well as single spaced. The spacing is double between each of the paragraphs. In the block format, you leave one inch spacing all around. The modified block format is when the letters’ body and the sender’s and recipient’s address are made justified and also single-spaced. The date and closing on the other hand is done simply pressing tab towards the center point and then you can begin to type. The least common would be the semi-block format. In this format, each paragraph is left indented not justified.
The most accepted font is New Times Roman, size 12. It is always professional to find out what the preferred format would be where you work, as all companies are different. No matter what format you will use, you will be ready as long as you follow these guidelines.