Business Letter Basics

Business Letter Basics

Author: Soma Jurgensen

Some may believe that letter writing is a lost art. In business, letter writing is a core competency that can set one candidate/employee apart from another.

In this tutorial you'll find:

  • Letter writing basic forms
  • Types and characteristics
  • Examples of well written letters
  • Direction on tone
  • Checklists for critical components
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Business Letter Types and Basics

Letters? Who writes letters with email, memos, and text? Businesses still write letters both internally and externally. Choosing the correct type of letter, formating it well, and writing it persuasively can move you toward personal and professional goals.

Tone Makes All the Difference

Tone in business letters is critical in meeting your objectives. The Online Writing Lab at Perdue University has some great examples of how to get your tone right.

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Letter writing checklist

Make sure you have all the elements to write a strong letter.

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Block Letter Format

This is the most common format. If you are unsure which format to use your best chance is to use block format.

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Modified Block Letter Format

The modified block, or indented, business letter format is less common, however, if your business uses this format use this example to guide your work.

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How to Write a Cover Letter

Should you include a cover letter? Yes. Let me ask it another way. Should you shake someone's hand when you first meet them? Yes. This document gives foundational and straight forward guidance for writing a cover letter.

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Submission/Query Letter Sample (For a proposal)

This sample illustrates correct block letter format with letterhead and includes paragraph by paragraph instructions on content.

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Source: Soma Jurgensen