Writing For Business – The 8 Parts of a Personal Business Letter
What is a personal business letter? It is a letter that and written by an individual and mailed to a company, business, or government agency. It is more formal than a personal letter or note.
There are eight parts to a personal business letter as follows:
- Return Address: this is your address, do not include your name, and list your street address, apartment number if applicable line 2, your city, state and zip code all on one line. Spell out the full name of the city and state (the official Post Office Abbreviation is acceptable also) and add the zip code. Note: if you are typing the letter on letterhead that already includes the address this part is not needed.
- Date: Enter today’s day on the next line. Spell out the full month, comma, date, comma and the year in 4 figures such as “2011”
- Letter Address: This area has whom the letter is sent to and their complete address. Write out the person’s full name on the first line:The street address goes on the next line or two as required.Write out the full name of the city, the Postal Abbreviation for the State followed by the zip code.
- Salutation: This is a formal greeting. Usually “Dear” followed by formal titles, i.e.: Mr., Mrs., Miss, Dr., or Reverend. If you are writing to a woman and do not know her martial status or which title she prefers “Ms.” Is acceptable. Follow the title by either the full name or just the last name.
- Body: This is the most important part of your letter. Use paragraphs properly. Be short and to the point so the recipient quickly knows the purpose of your letter. Give enough detail, but don’t use more words than needed.
- Complementary Close: Use phrases such as “Sincerely yours,” or “Yours truly”. Capitalize the first letter of the first word, lower case for the second word followed by a comma.
- Sender’s Name: This is where your name goes, skip four spaces between the complementary closing and your typed name. Use your first and last name.After printing the letter, sign your name between the complementary close and your typed name.
- Enclosures: If you are including any documents with the letter, such as a resume, product sample, or other explanatory documents, show that there is an enclosure by typing “Enclosure(s)” one line below the closing. You may list each enclosure by name, this is a good way to make sure that the recipient knows exactly what is in the envelope.
These are the parts and order of a personal business letter. It is assumed that you are personally typing this letter yourself, so there is no need for the typist’s initials.