I am sure you are probably wondering who writes a letter in the 21st century. The business world has shifted to video calls and emails from letters and memos. But you will be surprised to know that most business communications happen over digital and printed business letters. However, most institutions don’t groom students to write proper business letters. Despite taking paper help online, the techniques to write a flawless business letter elude them.
But don’t worry! In this blog, I have tried to educate you all about business letters and how you can write one effortlessly after stepping into the professional world.
Now, before you write any type of business letter, you first need to consider why you want to write the letter. The writing style and tone differ along with the letter type. If you are writing a letter stating your grievance, your tone will be completely different from when you write cover letters.
Some of the Business Situations for Which You Need to Write a Business Letter
Letter of complaint
- As you can understand from the name, we write letters of complaint only when we are dissatisfied with certain products and services. So, we write to the company stating the issues we faced because of the bad product or service quality. Although it is ideal to maintain a polite tone even while complaining, you must be stern and clear about what you want to say.
Letter of Inquiry
- People write a letter of inquiry when they have questions about a company’s products and services. Before writing a letter of inquiry, one must try to find the maximum information about the product or service. Then make a checklist of what else you need to know and write only the questions you want to know.
Adjustments letters are the replies to letters of complaint. It is trickier to write adjustment letters since you have to write to dissatisfied customers. The readers are usually irate, and you need to be careful about your word choices while writing adjustment letters.
You need to write cover letters before applying for a job. Cover letters are ideally sent along with the resume and act as the first way of impressing the admission panel. People write about their strengths and skills in a cover letter, hoping to impress the reader.
As the name suggests, business people write this form of letters while placing orders for a product. The companies treat the order letters as the absolute document for sending the products. So, you need to be extremely careful before writing these letters. Everything needs to be accurate, so always double-check the letter, and be careful about the language you use while writing order letters.
There are other forms of business letters, like when you want to write your resignation letter or recommend employees for jobs. Whatever the type, you can follow the following seven steps to write letters like a pro.
7 Steps to Write an Appropriate Business Letter
Write a brief outline
Once you have decided what kind of letter you want to write, pause and create an outline. If you don’t have a set outline, you can end up wasting a lot of time. Instead of tweaking minor things throughout the writing process, you can simply follow the outline and avoid making time-consuming changes.
Start by accumulating all the data you can on the concerned situation. For example, while writing a letter of complaint, you should be clear about your problem and what you expect after sending the letter. Similarly, while writing an order letter, you must be clear about the products you need.
If you are clear about these key ideas, you can easily decide how many paragraphs you want to include. However, be careful to include a sole idea in a paragraph. Stuffing all your issues in one paragraph makes reading the letter extremely difficult and confusing. Use connector words smartly to make smooth transitions between two paragraphs.
Use accurate salutation and layout
Business letters have stringent rules about their format and order. It may seem like a lot, but just remember these points, and you will be good to go –
Start with the address of the sender
Write the address in the top right or left corner. But you don’t need the mention the name or title as they will come in the concluding section of the letter.
Leave a line before writing the date
Write the date below the address of the sender. Be careful about the country you are writing your letter to. For example, in American countries, they use the month-date-year format. So, you need to write the date accordingly.
Leave a line to write the name and title of the recipient
It is very important to use the right salutations. For example, a common mistake when referring to women is using “Miss” or “Mrs.”. In case you are unsure of her marital status, it is safer to use “Ms.” Similarly, always use Mr. while referring to men. Here is an example of you should start a letter –
15 Sunset Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Jan 2, 2023
Ms. Jennifer Smith
Customer Care Executive
Bosman and Meyers
Kingston, NY 12401
Sign your name
This step is essential only if you send a hard copy of the letter. You must always close the letter by signing the letter and mentioning your name and job position below the signature.
Use the correct vocabulary for the different types of letters
Depending on the letter type, you can use these vocabularies and alter the tone of the letters. For your convenience, I am classifying a few examples for each type of letter –
Letters of complaint
- I want to draw your attention to…
- I am writing to complain about…
- I am quite upset with the latest purchase, hence…
- I feel I should get a refund.
- I would really appreciate if you could replace the product.
- Looking forward to getting a prompt reply.
Letters of inquiry
- I want to inquire about…
- I would be interested to know…
- Can you also tell me if…
- I am writing in response to…
- I want to apply for the position of…
- As you can see in my resume…
- I am currently working for…
- My key strengths are…
- I would like to place an order for…
- Can you kindly confirm the rates of…?
- Looking forward to your prompt confirmation.
- We sincerely want to apologize for…
- Please accept our apologies.
- We completely understand how traumatic that must have been.
- We are working to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
You can always tweak these examples and make a more customized business letter.
Check the spelling
You certainly don’t want to make silly spelling mistakes while writing business letters. Making amateurish spelling mistakes will diminish your credibility before the other person and make you look like a student instead of a professional. There are several spell-checker tools online that you can use to correct your spelling when unsure about something.
You must also consider the country you are writing the letter for. Many words are spelled differently in America and Great Britain. So, be careful of these differences before writing the letter.
Check the grammar
Maintaining the right grammar throughout can be trickier than spelling. Of course, you can always educate yourself with grammar books. However, if time and energy are constraints, hire a professional online homework help expert to check the grammar of the letter before sending it. However, you can eliminate most of the common grammar mistakes by becoming careful about common mistakes like using “your” and “you’re” or “Its” and “it’s”.
Check the punctuation
Punctuations may not seem like a lot, but missing out on a comma can change the whole meaning of the sentence. The most common punctuation errors one can make are –
- Forgetting commas
- Using emoticons or exclamations
- Over and underusing spaces
Proofread your letter before sending it to avoid such petty mistakes.
Format the letter
Lastly, spend a little time formatting the letter carefully. Tweak the font type and size, and check for double spacing to make them easily readable and look more formal.
As you can see, writing a business letter can be simple if you can remember these tips. If you ever face any doubt, re-read these seven tips to write a flawless and professional business letter.