What You Need to Know About Creating and Preserving Formal Business Letter Format
A business letter is actually a communication from one organization to another, either between such associations and their clients, customers, or whoever else outside of the two parties involved. The format of business letter usually varies depending on the relationship between the two parties. However, the main goal of every business letter remains the same-to inform the other party about the inner workings of a certain relationship. In fact, it is often written with this very intention in mind.
For formal business letters, it is important that the recipient of the communication fully understands the message the sender wishes to convey. This is where the business letter format comes into play. A formal letter uses the formal format in order to inform and request recipient. Formal business letters often start with the sender’s name, followed by their address, then the body of the letter which includes the recipient’s name, address, and the date. The date is also placed at the bottom of the page.
Another important aspect of business letter format is the use of the term, “co”, which is short for “company.” This is used in order to signify that the letter was written for the benefit of a company or individual, instead of an individual. The omitted word, “co,” is important as well. If omitted, a company could easily get a bad reputation from other business owners and end up being looked down upon, which is never a good situation for any business.
Another important aspect of business letters is the use of the term, “cover letter,” which is short for “claimer.” A cover letter essentially allows the sender of the letter to formally acknowledge the contents of his or her letter. A cover letter can be used in place of a thank you note, in addition to a formal introduction. Business letter format for a cover letter can include the name of the sender, his or her company, the name of the recipient, and the date. In some cases, the sender is allowed to include a few sentences that outline his or her business as well, though these are not essential.
The final part of business letter format is what many people call the “return address,” or the last paragraph. This part of the letter is what will usually contain the name of the sender, the company or organization that sent the letter, the date, and a request for more information. There are times when a business can utilize one space to write just one line, such as a thank you; however, if more than one line is necessary, it is always best to use one space to write all of the lines. The actual length of the paragraph depends on what information one is attempting to relay, as well as how many paragraphs are required to properly convey the desired message. Some letters, including resumes, may be one page, while others, such as those for grants, may be two or three-page documents.
One final note: The recipient of a formal business letter format is expected to sign their name at the bottom of the document in the place where it states that it is an electronic document and that signatures are not allowed. If a letterhead or resume contains this signature, it should also be stated on the face of the document somewhere near the last paragraph. In other words, don’t put it off until the very end, where it will be impossible to read. If a business cannot guarantee the sign-in-basis of its communications, the communication will not be considered legal or appropriate. To learn more about creating and preserving a proper business letter format, as well as other helpful business writing advice, please visit the author’s website.