Business Letter Writing: Layout

11/04/2020 1 By indiafreenotes

When writing a business letter, the layout of your letter is important, so that it will be easy to read and looks professional. So is your use of an appropriate salutation and closing, your spelling and grammar, and the tone you employ.

Here’s information on business letters, including selecting a font, paragraph spacing, formatting, margins, what to include in each paragraph, how to close the letter, and an example of the proper layout for a business letter.

Letter Font and Spacing

  • Properly space the layout of the business letters you write, with space between the heading, the greeting, each paragraph, the closing, and your signature.
  • Single space your letter and leave a space between each paragraph. When sending typed letters, leave two spaces before and after your written signature.
  • Left justify your letter, so that your contact information, the date, the letter, and your signature are all aligned to the left.
  • Use a plain font like Arial, Times New Roman, Courier New, Calibri, or Verdana. Make sure that the font size you use is large enough that your reader won’t need to reach for their glasses – the standard font size for these fonts is 10 point or 12 point.

A business letter is a formal document often sent from one company to another or from a company to its clients, employees, and stakeholders, for example. Business letters are used for professional correspondence between individuals, as well.

Although email has taken over as the most common form of correspondence, printed-out business letters are still used for many important, serious types of correspondence, including reference letters, employment verification, job offers, and more.

What to Include in the Letter

Make the purpose of your letter clear through simple and targeted language, keeping the opening paragraph brief. You can start with, “I am writing in reference to…” and from there, communicate only what you need to say.

The subsequent paragraphs should include information that gives your reader a full understanding of your objective(s) but avoid meandering sentences and needlessly long words. Again, keep it concise to sustain their attention.

If, for example, you want the reader to sponsor a charity event, identify any overlap with their company’s philanthropic goals. Convince the reader that helping you would be mutually beneficial, and you will increase your chances of winning their support.

Sections of a Business Letter

Each section of your letter should adhere to the appropriate format, starting with your contact information and that of your recipient’s; salutation; the body of the letter; closing; and finally, your signature.

Your Contact Information

  • Your Name
  • Your Job Title
  • Your Company
  • Your Address
  • City, State Zip Code
  • Your Phone Number
  • Your Email Address

The Date

  • The date you’re penning the correspondence

Recipient’s Contact Information

  • Their Name
  • Their Title
  • Their Company
  • The Company’s Address
  • City, State Zip Code

The Salutation

  • Use “To Whom It May Concern,” if you’re unsure specifically whom you’re addressing.
  • Use the formal salutation “Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. [Last Name],” if you do not know the recipient.
  • Use “Dear [First Name],” only if you have an informal relationship with the recipient.

The Body

  • Use single-spaced lines with an added space between each paragraph, after the salutation, and above the closing.
  • Left justify your letter (against the left margin).

Closing Salutation

Keep your closing paragraph to two sentences. Simply reiterate your reason for writing and thank the reader for considering your request. Some good options for your closing include:

  • Respectfully yours
  • Yours sincerely
  • Cordially
  • Respectfully

If your letter is less formal, consider using:

  • All the best
  • Best
  • Thank you
  • Regards

Your Signature

Write your signature just beneath your closing and leave four single spaces between your closing and your typed full name, title, phone number, email address, and any other contact information you want to include.