Business Letters - A most common form of communication in business

It's an excellent investment to learn how to write well!

Business letters are exchanged every single day in the business world. Often, first impressions are created through your writing. With the right tone in a well-crafted message, you can achieve your desired goal.

Soon business correspondence will be an easy skill for you.

Easy and simple format. Business letters follow such an easy format that it becomes a very easy skill to learn. Follow this template for excellent results.

For example:

Letters should generally have a minimum of 3 paragraphs.

  • A short opening paragraph that probably has 2 sentences. It tells the purpose of your letter and adds a goodwill comment to highlight benefits to your reader. If you keep that in mind, then the letter becomes much easier to write.

  • Middle paragraphs that contain the details. Avoid placing details in the opening or closing. Keep details in the middle paragraphs, but avoid becoming too chatty. You want to write succinctly and clearly.

    A good hint is to write the letter first and then revise it. Often, you will find that the main point of your letter (that should be at the top in the opening) is presented near the bottom. A simple rewriting at that point makes the letter so much more succinct and effective.

  • A short closing paragraph that begins with a direct request for action, and follows with a short goodwill comment that again highlights benefits to your reader.

This plan may seem like an over-simplified structure, but if you follow this business letter template religiously, you will be able to write every single one of your business letters with increasing ease and excellence!

With this basic format, writing cover letters for your resume or CV will be very easy. You can become confident as you develop an effective business communication style.

You CAN become known for your excellent business writing!

There are no real secrets to writing business letters. It just takes practice, practice, practice. I do know that I don’t usually sit down and write the perfect letter the first time - unless it's very short. I write a draft and then I revise the draft a few times.

Perhaps that is the secret - Write a draft and revise it. You may even have to sleep on it overnight!

There is a skill to learning how to write, and the more you write, the better you will be.

Writing a first rough draft and revising the draft are important factors in business correspondence and business letter writing. The practice is how you can improve your business writing skills.

  • Try to imagine that you are receiving the letter you write.
  • What does the reader want to read?

Put yourself into the position of the reader. What does the reader want to read?

Responding to a reader's letter. If the reader had sent you a letter of complaint earlier, then the reader wants to read the solution to that complaint. If you cannot provide a positive solution, then provide something that will help the reader. Yes, tell what you CAN do rather than what you cannot do.

The closing paragraph. Keep it short.

Follow a simple formula:

  • Always begin the closing with Please contact me at … to …
  • Add a second sentence - a positive comment for the reader.
If you try to put all your letters and memos into that format, you should find that you can write very well and comfortably.

Every memo or letter is different. But in another sense, all letters and memos are all the same!

You want to avoid being too chatty and long-winded. That's where the draft and the review enter the picture.



A little scenario.

When I write a letter, I start out writing a rough draft. Here is what I find works so well.

If I'm writing a complaint, I like to be chatty, too. So, what happens naturally is that I write the preamble to the situation and I generally get to the point in the third or fourth paragraph - or very near the end. I'm sure that this is what most people do - but some think that this makes the letter a good one - that first rough draft!

Remember - this is only a first draft - and you can improve upon it!

The main point or message. At that point, near the end, I realize that I've finally got to my main point. My most succinct message seems to be my request for action near the end. (If I'm writing a complaint, then I want action, so my main message would be the request for action.)

But it's at the very end of my little chatty draft when I've finally got to my main point! It's funny how that happens - but that is the value of the rough draft first!

What is the solution? At that point, when I know my main point, I put that at the top of the business letter in a polite opening paragraph and try to fit everything else in. I keep my opening paragraph short - two sentences. The opening paragraph truly becomes an introduction to the body of the letter.

It’s amazing that if you move the message – the main point – to the opening paragraph (where it should be) how you don’t need to say so many of the other things you had written earlier in the draft! The letter takes on a whole new professional appearance and style - and it becomes a suitable length without all the repetition.

So, it takes practice in learning to write business letters. Just be patient. You will do well.

When you finally follow through on that plan, you will be so pleased to see that the letter is going to be quite excellent!

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