How to write a formal letter may seem like an easy thing to do until you get down to it. Usually you will need the skill for when you are applying for a job, writing for official business or doing research and need official communication. This shows that knowing how to write good formal letters is a necessity more than a choice.
There are different reasons for which one needs to write a formal letter. It could be for a job application, to school or even official communication at your workplace. Whatever the reason is knowing how to do it right is most important. Here is how to go about it.
How to write a formal letter for a job application
There are certain things you need to include in this letter. First you need to mention where you heard about the job opportunity. Next you have to indicate your strengths and weaknesses to your potential employer. Make sure you devote a good amount of time to the section explaining why you are the best candidate for the position. Sign off by inviting the manager in charge of the application to contact you for the advertised post. With all this information one may wonder how exactly to get it done. Here is how.
- Use business letter format
- Sell yourself
- Keep it brief
- Edit . Avoid mistakes
Prepare for writing
- Get your piece of paper and make two columns on it
- Start off by adding your contact information at the top of the paper. This includes your address, name, phone number, email address, Linkedin profile and personal website if you have one.
- Put in the company’s information. This show that you are specific in your application and have done your homework and are not doing generic copy pasting as most people do.
- Address your letter to the person you are writing to. For instance you should write to the department’s head as opposed to addressing it to whom it may concern
- Make sure the first paragraph is powerful and engaging. Have a strong open and declarative statement. Be short and specific and show your inters tint he position.
- State where you found the position. This could be in a newspaper ad or through referrals
- Indicate why the company should hire you. State how the company will benefit with your addition to the team. Summarize your qualifications, strengths and experiences in brief. Focus on what is most relevant to your potential employer
- Show the hiring manager who you are. You need to show the face behind the resume.
Finishing up the letter
- Summarize in one sentence why you are the perfect candidate for the job.
- Thank the hiring manager and invite him or her to contact you. Show confidence by stating that you are looking forward to speaking further.
- Sign off. This is a tricky part because being too formal may work against you. It is advisable to sign off as yours faithfully or just best
How to write a formal letter to school principal
Parents and students have varied reasons to write to the school principal. This could be to complain or request for something such as placement for a child. Regardless of what the reason is though, it is important to know how to go about it. Official communication to school authorities is crucial as it serves as records for future reference. The following tips will come in handy when writing to the school’s principal.
- Start by putting the addresses of the school and then your own
- Salutations follow next. Find out the name of the principal if you can rather than using a general dear sir or madam. The extra effort of knowing the name gives the right impression.
- Let the letter be cordial. It should also be brief and straight to the point. This means that you should start by introducing yourself and then stating the reason for writing the letter.
- The second paragraph should come with the details. For instance if you are requesting for admission for your child then this is where you mention his or her special qualities in line with the school’s strengths. Offer to provide evidence for perusal.
- Conclude by asking to be invited to discuss more details. Leave your contact details for further communication. Sign off as sincerely, your name.
Try to make the letter as personal as possible by using name details.
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How to write a formal letter of request
Request letters are written for a variety of reasons including requesting for a job interview or promotion to a different job group. There are many instances that one needs a favor hence the need to master how to write a request letter. The skills will come in handy at some point in time. In most cases the letter should be simple and straight to the point unless there is need for longer explanations. The following tips will be useful when writing a request letter.
- Place your information above the recipients information the begin the letter’s content
- The first paragraph should state your reason for writing
- The second paragraph should give relevant information concerning the purpose of writing the letter. This is where suggestions come in if any
- End the letter courteously and leave your contact details
Consider the following example
Dear (person you are addressing),
My name is (put your name), and I am a professional (put your profession) with over (insert years of experience). A mutual colleague, (put name of friend) from (insert the company he works for), suggested I contact you regarding a (insert position interested in). I would like to arrange a meeting with you to discuss the possibility of working together.
Please contact me at [email] or on [phone number].
Yours sincerely (name)
The above format sample shows how one can write a simple request letter successfully.
How to write a formal letter requesting permission
A letter of permission is a formal letter written to a person of higher authority requesting for permission for an event or something else that needs clearance say in a job setup. Your chances of getting the request granted highly depend on your letter writing skills. Consider the following.
- Keep the language in the letter formal
- Always address the person to whom you are writing the letter
- No spelling and grammatical errors
- Always state the reason for seeking the permission
- Include all the points necessary
- Give price contact information
Checkout the sample below
Date: _____ (Give Date on Which Letter is Written)
Subject: Permission Letter
Dear ,(Sir or Madam)
I Mr/Mrs. ………(put your name) working as a ………………(your job position) am writing this letter to you …………………………(insert name of recipient) put reason for the request) for instance getting half a day leave, follow up with details explaining your permission request for instance to attend a family function. Reaffirm the higher authority such as, I assure you my absence will not be a hindrance to the ongoing project. (Conclude positively for instance by saying) Until then, I hope to get a positive response from you.
(Sign off cordially)
(insert your name)
How to write a formal letter to a University
- Be clear. Use fewer words. Edit and clarify
- Use a new paragraph for every idea
- Move form the outside in. for instance introduce yourself by saying who you are before saying what you want
- Try to be unique but respectful
- Never plagiarize
- Stick to lengths limits
How to write a formal letter sample
With the different types of formal letters discussed above, you can never go wrong with a general sample for all of them despite the specific details in each type. The following tips will come in handy. The secret to good formal letters is to write them precisely and matter of factly. You do not have to write unnecessarily long letters. Avoid informal language use such as the use of contractions. Note the following
Your address should be on the top right corner while the recipient’s address should be on the left.
Whether you put it on the right or left is a matter of preference. Note that the month should be written in words.
Use dear sir or madam when you do not know there name. It is however advisable to find out the name. Remember to include the titles when you know the name of the recipient you are writing to.
Give details such as reasons for writing the letter precisely.
Ending the letter
Being a formal letter different conclusion can be made. Finish with yours faithfully if you do not know the recipient’s name. Yours sincerely can be used if you know the person’s name. Finish up with your signature and name. If you feel the recipient will not know whether you are female or male you can add the title in bracket.
Letter writing is a skill that people ought to master as you never know when you will need it.