Business Letter Formatting Guidelines
Business letters are formal documents sent between companies or by companies to clients, employees, and stakeholders. Professional correspondence between individuals can also be conducted using business letters. Many important, serious correspondences, including reference letters, employment verification, job offers, and more, still take the form of printed business letters, even though email has become the most popular means of communication.
You should follow the appropriate format for each section of your letter, beginning with your contact information and that of your recipient; your salutation; the body of the letter; and your closing. Following are the formatting guidelines that is to be followed while writing a business letter by the professionals.
a) Block Format
This is the most commonly used format. The entire letter is written in left justified paragraphs. Between each paragraph, double spacing is inserted between the single spaced text.
b) Modified Block Format
Another popular format for business letters is the modified block format. The date and the closing of the letter follow the same formatting as the block format. Instead of being left aligned, these two items are centered.
c) Semi Block Format
There is a great deal of use of the semi block format. A first line indentation is used instead of left aligning the paragraphs. The format of formal business letters can also vary depending on the company. The official style guide of the organization should always be consulted first. Business letters can be easily created using templates provided by most word processing software programs. Insert the information within each section of the template after selecting the desired template.
d) Using the Right Fonts
Making sure that the letter is readable requires the right font. Don’t use fancy fonts that are hard to read. It is common to use a standard serif font like Times New Roman at size 12. Arial, for instance, is a sans-serif font that is best used for headers and single lines rather than blocks of text. Depending on the organization’s stationery, different fonts can be acceptable for aesthetic reasons.
e) Punctuation, Grammar, and Spell Checking
The salutation is followed by a colon, and the closing phrase is followed by a comma. Both of these are omitted when using open punctuation. After writing a letter, it is important to pay close attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation. To catch any glaring errors, run a spell check within the word processor. If there are any errors left in the letter, have another person read it and point them out.
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