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How To Write a Business Letter

Whether you are writing to sell a product, greet someone, apply for a job, or inquire about something, your written introduction is a social convention that sets the tone for the communications that follow.


  • TIP: After you write the body, adjust the space between the date and the subject’s address so that the letter is centered on the page.
  • Step 1: Declare your intention to speak further. Close positively by reassuring them of your willingness and availability, your respect, and your confidence regarding the success of your mutual endeavors.
  • Step 2: Double space and add a complimentary close, like "With Respect," or "Sincerely." Leave at least four spaces for the signature block to follow.
  • FACT: In 2008, 73 percent of those in the workplace claimed e-mail technology improved their ability to share information.
  • Step 3: Fill the paragraphs in the body of the letter with the information the addressee needs to know. Be direct, concise, and informative.
  • Step 4: State your business, or make your inquiry or request in the first paragraph. Recognize their busy schedule and be brief. Include anyone’s name that might attract their attention.
  • Step 5: Double space, and then type the date below your address.
  • Step 6: Position your subject’s address on the left side, two lines below the date.
  • Step 7: Use the addressee's title in your salutation. Use Mr., Dr., or Ms. – not Miss, – and their surname. If you do not know their title or surname, generalize with phrases such as, "Dear Officials" or "Dear Members of the Committee."
  • TIP: Only use conventional abbreviations, such as asap and p.s., if you are personally familiar with the person you are contacting.
  • Step 8: Write your address in the upper right-hand corner if it is not already in the letterhead design.

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