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How to Write a Formal Letter

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Knowing how to properly compose a letter might come in handy when applying for a job, filing a complaint, or even discussing a performance review with an employer.

For that reason, 5-Minute Crafts has come up with a quick guide on how to write a formal letter.

The beginning of the letter

  1. Write your address in the top right corner.
  2. Below the address, write the date.
  3. On the left side, on the line below your address and the date, write the name and the address of the recipient.

The body of the letter

4. Start the letter with “Dear...” and the name of the person. You can either choose to write their title and their surname, or both their first and last name. Use “Dear Sir/Madam” in case you don’t know the name of the person you’re writing to.

5. Add a comma at the end.

6. Get to the point straight away in your opening paragraph. For example: “I would like to apply for the position of...”, “I am writing about a faulty device that...

7. Include as many relevant details as possible to help the reader respond to you. For example: In a job application, include details about why you might be the ideal candidate.

Note: Write in a firm and polite manner and avoid any language that could be considered casual or chatty.

The ending of the letter

8. Give the readerclear course of action. For example: If you’re applying for a job, say you’ll be looking forward to hearing from them. This way you’ll end the letter on a positive note.

9. End the letter with “Yours sincerely” if you used someone’s name at the start. Use “Yours faithfully” if you used Sir/Madam instead.

10. Sign your name at the end.

Note: Proofread the letter before sending it.

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