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An explanation of the proper business letter format

letter can make a big difference.An ill conceived letter to a potential employer sends the impression that you are ill educated or simply do not respect the formality of the situation.Poorly written business letters sent to potential clients or business partners could cost you not only money but the possibility of establishing potentially lucrative relationships.A business letter reflects its writer and you certainly do not want that reflection to incorrect and negatively received.

The proper business letter contains the writer's contact name, address, phone number and other relevant contact information as applicable (such as e-mail address or fax number). This information in found at the top of the page and should include a space between each set of information (i.e. the name, phone, etc. are on separate lines).Depending on the type of business letter format that you use this information can either be flushed to the right or the left of the page. Contact information is obviously important because you will likely need a response tot the letter that you are sending and your reader will need to have your information close at hand.Don't forget to put the date underneath your contact information.

The bulk of the letter will consist of the following:

Addressing your reader: You want to be sure that you are polite, respectful and professional as you address your reader for the first time.It is always better to do a little research to make sure that you have the name and spelling of the person that you wish to address correct.Although "to whom it may concern" is an appropriate beginning if you do not know to whom you are writing, it may come across as impersonal and lacking effort. "Sir" or "Ma'am" are always appropriate.Failure to address a married or an un-married woman properly with the use of Miss or Mrs. can be problematic.If you are unsure about which title the woman prefers just use "Ms."

Acknowledgement:It is important to write how it is that you have come to write this letter.Are you applying for a job and have received a referral by someone in the company?Were you sent a letter and are writing a reply?Make sure that someone not knowing the context of previous interactions between both reader and writer could make sense of the business letter that you are not writing.

Clearly state your purpose: Business letters are often sent to busy people.You do not want to waste any time in your letter.Make sure that you address your point in a clear and easy to understand way.You do not need to preface with excused or close with disclaimers.You do not want to annoy your reader by writing a long letter that could have just as easily been said in a paragraph or two.

Conclusion: As you conclude your letter again draw your reader's attention to your contact information in the case that they will need to get a hold of you.If you will be meeting with your reader in person sometime in the future, make reference to this meeting.The conclusion of your letter is the place to finalize your thought concisely and thank the reader for his time in the matter.

The end of your letter should reflect the type of the relationship that you have with your reader.Some common endings are "Respectfully," "Sincerely,""Warm regards," etc. Of course this is then followed by your signature and your name neatly printed below.If you have included any additional documents with your letter, you should have made reference to them in the body of the letter and then remind the reader about these documents by typing the words "Enclosed documents" near the bottom of the page.

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