Personal Business Letter Example

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Follow the correct business letter format to demonstrate professionalism.
Follow the correct business letter format to demonstrate professionalism. (Image: Envelope for the letter image by Cosmic from Fotolia.com)

Business letters have several distinct elements, including the sender's address, the date, the recipient's address, the salutation, the body and the closing. When writing a business letter, follow correct formatting rules to ensure that your message is communicated with clarity and professionalism.

Sender's Address

The sender's address should be included in the top righthand corner of the letter. Include the full address, but not the sender's name or title.

Date

On the line below the address, write the date the letter was completed, including month, day and year. The date should be left-justified or centered on the page.

Recipient's Address

On the line below the date, print the recipient's full address with name and title, left-justified on the page.

Salutation

Address the recipient using his or her formal title, followed by a colon ("Dear Mr. Smith:"). If you know the recipient in a personal capacity, you may use his or her first name. If you are unable to determine the recipient's exact name or title, it is acceptable to use "To Whom It May Concern."

Body

Single-space each paragraph of the letter body, leaving open lines between paragraphs. In most cases, keep the content concise (3 to 5 paragraphs, or one page).

Closing

Include your closing one line below the last paragraph of your letter body, justified on the same indent as your date. Capitalize only the first word of your valediction ("Best regards," not "Best Regards"), and print your full name several lines below, leaving open space for a handwritten signature.

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