The Correct Business Letter Format



The Correct Business Letter Format :




Why it is important to use the correct business letter format?

Because the way a business letter looks immediately gives the reader their first impression even before they read it. The quality of the paper, letterhead design, the margins, spacing and more all have something to say about the organization. A weakness in any of these elements can detract from the effectiveness of the message, even though it is expertly written.

The following provides the elements of the business letter format.

The Paper

There are different kinds of paper. I recommend using the 20lb for normal use and 32lb for important letters like resume cover letters and thank you letters.

Paper Color

White is the standard and should usually be used. Light tints (grey, blue, green, etc.) are also becoming popular. Do not use any strong color unless you know it is acceptable to the reader.

Size

To me only the Letter or A4 are the only acceptable sizes. There are other sizes but I don’t recommend it unless you are in the creative field.

Layout

There are many layouts; the most popular are the Blocked and Indented Styles. Whatever layout you wish to use, it doesn’t really matter. As long as it is good looking, as for me, I prefer the full-blocked simply because it is easier to type on the computer.

Margins

Left and Right 1 Inch Top and Bottom 1.5 Inch

Spacing

Most letters are single-spaced. Use double space for short letters. Leave one blank line between paragraphs, 2 Blank lines before the complementary close (i.e. Sincerely) and 3 to 4 lines for the signature.

Envelopes

Make sure the address on your envelope is easy to read so that it doesn’t get tossed in some mailroom. Place the address just below the vertical center and just to the right of the horizontal center.

Any special instruction such as “Attention,” “Personal,” “Please Forward,” or “Confidential,” goes on the left side of the envelope below the return address.

Confidential : Ms. Susan Johnson

Date Lines

Place the date at least two spaces below the letterhead. The line may be flush left or right or centered below the letterhead.

Do not abbreviate the month or use nd, st, or th with the day numbers, like May 5th, 1998. Also, do not use a month’s number, like 6/23/89. Both date orders listed below are appropriate; however, the latter is used mainly by the government, the military and those outside the United States.

December 10, 2003

10 December 2003


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