Learning how to write a formal letter is essential when establishing a sense of professionalism in the workspace. Whether you’re communicating with your boss, employees, or someone outside of your business, a business letter acts as a representative of the organization. The way you present yourself in your letter sets the tone for your business.
Using a professional tone informs readers that you are serious about your work and possess expert knowledge on the subject you are bringing forward. This article looks at formal letter examples and formal letter formats, which will help you become an expert in professional communication.
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What Is a Formal Letter?
A formal letter is a document written in a professional tone that follows a specific format, addressed to authorities, coworkers, dignitaries, and seniors. You do not address these types of letters to friends, family, or personal acquaintances. They are the opposite of an informal letter, which uses more conventional language.
Formal letter examples include business letters, appointment letters, resignation letters, cover letters, and recommendation letters. You can send formal emails, but a paper letter gives more detailed personal attention.
What Are the 5 Parts of a Formal Letter?
- Address: You must include both the sender and the recipient’s address. The sender’s address belongs to the writer and is written on the top-right corner of the paper. It is followed by the sender’s email address and then the date. The recipient’s address appears below the sender’s address, in the upper left-hand corner. You do not repeat the date under the receiver’s address.
- Salutation: The salutation is an essential part of a formal letter. Unlike an informal letter where you can address the recipient however you see fit, the standard salutation for a formal letter is “Dear Sir/Madam”. If you do not know the recipient’s gender, you can address them by occupation or full name. Your salutation should depict respect.
- Title: After the salutation, the title or heading comes next. The title contains brief information on the subject of your letter. It should clearly state the letter’s purpose, and it is usually written in caps lock or underlined.
- Body: The body is the main part of the letter, written in single-space paragraphs. The body paragraph comes after the introduction, before the conclusion, and should state the key reasons for writing the letter. You should divide this section into small, concise paragraphs.
- Signature: Once you’ve concluded your arguments, you must include a subscription and a signature at the bottom of your letter. An example of a subscription is “Yours Faithfully”. Your signature should appear below the subscription, in the same position. In a formal letter, the authentic signature is usually handwritten.
How to Write a Formal Letter: Beginning and Ending
You want to draw the reader in from the very first sentence, so it’s vital to know how to address formal letters. On the same note, you want to end your letter strongly so the reader is left with a good impression of you as a professional. Below are key points to note when beginning and ending your formal letter.
How to Begin a Formal Letter
The majority of formal letters begin with the word “Dear” before the name of the recipient. You can either use the person’s first and last name or their title and surname. If you do not know the person’s name, you must address the letter using “Dear Sir or Madam”.
Regardless of how you begin your letter, it must be accompanied by a comma. Your first sentence, which should start on a new line after the title, should directly indicate why you’re writing the letter.
How to End a Formal Letter
How you end your letter will be determined by the message you want to send. Examples of letter closings include “Yours sincerely”, “Yours faithfully”, “Respectively”, and “Warm regards”. Remember that you must use a comma to end your message.
How to Write a Formal Letter: 5 More Useful Tips
Make Use of the Right Tone
You must write a formal letter with a professional approach. Take into account your target audience and be wary of the words you use. Write in the proper format, avoid using slang and contractions, and maintain a courteous approach.
Be Clear and Concise
It is important to state the objective of your correspondence clearly in the introduction of your letter. Ensure that it is brief and straightforward. Knowing how to communicate is a professional skill everyone should know in the workspace.
Proofread Your Letter
Proofread your letter and review your work thoroughly. This letter could be an essential part of transitioning into the next stage of your career. Give yourself at least four weeks to write, review, and check for spelling and grammar mistakes before sending it in. A letter that is free of errors will appear more professional.
Include the Proper Elements
When writing this type of letter, make sure to include all of the required information. This includes the address of the recipient, your name, and your signature.
Use Proper Format and Presentation
When writing a handwritten formal letter, choose high-quality paper and a matching envelope. Ensure that you spell the name of the recipient correctly and that the address is correct. Remember to sign the letter.
Formal Letter Examples to Help You Communicate Effectively
Writing any kind of formal letter is easy once you have mastered the techniques of sharing clear and concise messages. Below are formal letter examples that will help you communicate effectively. The first is a common example of a formal letter delivered by email, and the second is a common example of a formal handwritten letter.
Formal Letter Example 1: Application Letter
123 Main Street
February 12, 2022
123 Business Road
Business City, NY
I am writing in regards to the human resources consultant position advertised on CareerKarma.com. I am very interested in this position and would appreciate being considered a candidate for it.
I have work experience in human resources departments, providing help to various sectors. I have been employed as a human resources generalist for the past four years. Before this position, I worked as a human resources assistant for two years.
I have a strong desire to help people, and I excel in looking for answers to common HR issues, which I believe would be a valuable asset to your organization. I possess excellent communication skills, which are critical for HR success. I have a degree in human resources from Arizona State University.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
I promote employee retention and improve business cultures by establishing training and education programs. Making sure my employees have access to the information they need to succeed and comply with legal obligations is of utmost importance to me.
I appreciate your taking the time to read this message, and I am looking forward to hearing from you about the next steps in the recruiting process. Please contact me if you have any questions or require extra information.
Formal Letter Example 2: Resignation Letter
22 Main Street
Business City, NY
February 12, 2022
546 Business Road
Business City, NY
Dear Mr. Isaac,
I am writing to inform you that I am resigning as the Product Manager for Blue Enterprises, effective March 23, 2022.
Thank you very much for the professional and personal development opportunities you have afforded me over the last three years. I have loved working for the organization, and I appreciate the help during my tenure.
How to Use Formal Letter Examples to Write Your Own
This article has provided you with formal letter examples to write your formal letter. According to ResumeLab, an excellent cover letter will get you the job 85 percent of the time, even if your resume isn’t impressive. Follow a sample letter and include all of the right elements to help you make the professional leap to boost your career needs.
Always ensure that you maintain a formal tone and avoid a friendly tone, and proofread your work to ensure that you have no grammatical errors. With constant practice, you will develop your formal letter writing skills.
How to Write a Formal Letter FAQ
The best way to start a formal letter is with a greeting. The salutation is the formal greeting. Most salutations begin with “Dear,” followed by the recipient’s name. All salutations begin their titles with a capital letter and end in a comma.
Yes, it is necessary to include a subject in a formal letter. The subject line should be written in a concise formal manner and should summarize the objective of the letter. Because the subject line functions as a title or heading for the material, it must be related to the written content.
The basic format of a formal letter includes six elements: the address (sender’s and receiver’s), date, salutation, subject, body text, and end. These elements are essential for the proper flow of information in any formal letter.
A formal letter should always carry a polite tone. Your formal letter should be professional and convey respect for the recipient. This polite and professional tone will also imply that the writer is serious about his or her subject.
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