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Business Letter Etiquette

Talk, tips, and best picks for writers on the job.

❶Block format keeps all lines of the business letter left-justified with a full blank line of space between each paragraph.

Professional Business Writing Etiquette Guidelines

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Definition

Begin each letter with a salutation that greets the recipient, and then continue with the body, which explains the purpose of the letter. Business letters provide the sender and the recipient with written documentation of important matters. They are easily filed through traditional filing systems, or scanned and filed electronically for future reference.

More formal than email, business letters are a professional way to communicate with a wide range of individuals, companies and organizations. Following appropriate business writing etiquette ensures that letters are formatted properly and contain necessary information to craft a clear and concise message.

Business letters should be clear and avoid jargon. Miranda Brookins is a marketing professional who has over seven years of experience in copywriting, direct-response and Web marketing, publications management and business communications. She has a bachelor's degree in business and marketing from Towson University and is working on a master's degree in publications design at University of Baltimore. Skip to main content. Definition A business letter is a written form of communication that company owners and executives, consumers, job seekers, employees and community members use.

Formats People can format business letters in three ways: Sections Business letters have specific formats and include several key portions. Benefits Business letters provide the sender and the recipient with written documentation of important matters. Warnings Business letters should be clear and avoid jargon. Business Letters in English. Writing Basic Business Letters: About the Author Miranda Brookins is a marketing professional who has over seven years of experience in copywriting, direct-response and Web marketing, publications management and business communications.

Photo Credits woman reading a letter image by Peter Baxter from Fotolia. Use professional structure for your international business letter.

Type out your address at the top of the page followed by the date. Underneath that, type out the full address of the associate to whom you're sending the letter. Avoid using "dear" as your salutation and type the associate's full name instead. For the body of the letter, three separate paragraphs provide the best readability. End the letter with a professional closing, such as "sincerely" or "thank you," followed by your full name.

Avoid colloquialisms and slang in your letter. While someone in your region may understand your word and phrase choices, that's not the case for an international business letter recipient. Even if you're sending your letter to an English-speaking country, the recipient may not know phrases such as "like nobody's business" or "hair of the dog.

There's a chance that you might have to write your letter in another language. If you're not fluent in the language of your recipient, enlist the help of someone who is.

Have her read through your letter and correct any errors. Not only do you want to sound professional in your letter, you also want to avoid offending the recipient by accidentally using an offensive word. Although it's acceptable to reserve one line of your first body paragraph for pleasantries, such as asking about the recipient's family, it's best to keep the rest of the letter professional.

Get right to the point of the letter and avoid getting too personal. Use international business lingo when writing out your letter to ensure that the recipient understands everything you're proposing. Words like "exporting," "subsidy," "polycentric staffing" and "translation exposure" are all understood internationally.


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Greeting and salutation: Letter writing protocol dictates business letters begin with “Dear” followed by the addressees honorific and last name, followed by a colon, not a comma. For example, write “Dear Dr. Smith:” Again, Dear Ms Smith is best for first time letters.

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Definition. A business letter is a written form of communication that company owners and executives, consumers, job seekers, employees and community members use.

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If you aim for accuracy, clarity, and coherence, and follow the basic rules of form and grammar, you can master the craft of writing business letters. The Parts of a Business Letter The format of a standard business letter includes these parts. Business letter writing can be quite daunting as there is proper etiquette to follow to convey a formal tone. You can know more from the business letter etiquette .

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The first rule of letter writing is, clarity. This rule applies while writing both, business as well as personal letters. Without clarity a letter . Your company has expanded and you now have clients and business associates all over the world. Before you start sending out international business letters, learn more about the etiquette involved in writing them. When written appropriately, your business letters will be easy to read and won't unintentionally.