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Professional letter format
To begin with, letters are basic modes of communication. They existed before distance oral communication and existed even during the time of Internet. So, it's clear, letters are here to stay. Hence, I believe that it is important for everyone to know professional letter writing. Nonetheless, in this lightning fast age of ours, you can learn about professional letter writing by observing keenly the examples outlined below.

How to Write a Professional Letter

Alright then! Let's begin. To start, one needs to be aware that there are basically 2 formats to professional letter writing. Both of these formats are globally known and universally accepted. However, before that, I need to furnish you with the different parts of a letter:
  1. Return address of the letter writer
  2. Date of the letter (the date when the letter is written)
  3. The complete name, surname and address of the recipient
  4. Salutation (e.g., Dear Mr. Stinson:). Make sure, the salutation ends with a colon
  5. The subject line
  6. The body of the letter
  7. Closing (e.g., Sincerely,); the closing is always followed by a comma
  8. Signature of the writer, followed by the writer's name below the signature
  9. Enclosure (This is if there is any attachment to be seen along with the letter.)
Professional Letter Format Samples

Letter Template in Block Format
We start with what I find the easiest of the professional letter formats - Block Format. This one is very popular as it is simple to use, with no indents and is left aligned all over.

1800, Stone Ridge Street
Los Angeles, CA 90001.

January 29th, 2011

Mr. Stinson
President, Stinson Children's Center
344 Western Lane
New York, NY 10027

Dear Mr. Stinson:

In the first paragraph, one needs to give a brief introduction of oneself. One should also give reference to the purpose of the letter in brief.

The second paragraph needs to give the details of the letter and its need. This paragraph is mostly longer than the others and plays the main role in the letter. Keep the sentences short and to the point. Avoid using complex words and sentences.

The third and last paragraph is the conclusion of the letter and can be kept short.

Sincerely,

(this is where the signature of the writer will be placed)

Robin Keating

Enclosures (2) (the enclosures are optional)

Letter Template in Modified Block Format
Slightly different from the block format, this format has the receiver's address, the date, the complimentary closing and signature on the right hand side of the layout.
1800, Stone Ridge Street
Los Angeles, CA 90001.


January 29th, 2011


Mr. Stinson
President, Stinson Children's Center
344 Western Lane
New York, NY 10027

Dear Mr. Stinson:

This is the first paragraph where you will explain the reason or purpose behind this letter. Be concise in your explanation.

This is your second paragraph which should talk about the requirement of this letter. Being a longer paragraph than the others, it plays the main role in the letter. Again, sentences here should be succinct and to the point. Do not use complex words and sentences.

The third and last paragraph should be your concluding lines.

Sincerely,

(this is where the signature of the writer will be placed)

Robin Keating


Enclosures (2) (the enclosures are optional)

Letter Template in Indented Format
This is one of the oldest formats and is also called the semi-block format. This one has several indents and is a bit more complex to draft as compared to the block format. There is a very thin line of difference between indented format and modified block format; the indented format expects you to move to the center of the letter using the tab key for each new paragraph. It is still a very popular format in the professional letter writing field.
1800, Stone Ridge Street
Los Angeles, CA 90001.


January 29th, 2011


Mr. Stinson
President, Stinson Children's Center
344 Western Lane
New York, NY 10027

Dear Mr. Stinson:

This is the first paragraph where you will explain the reason or purpose behind this letter. Be concise in your explanation.
This is your second paragraph which should talk about the requirement of this letter. Being a longer paragraph than the others, it plays the main role in the letter. Again, sentences here should be succinct and to the point. Do not use complex words and sentences.
The third and last paragraph should be your concluding lines.
Sincerely,

(this is where the signature of the writer will be placed)

Robin Keating


Enclosures (2) (the enclosures are optional)

Example of a Professional Letter in Block Format

1800, Stone Ridge Street
Los Angeles, CA 90001.

January 29th, 2011

Catherine Wills,
TRES, Inc.
532 East 95th Street
New York, NY 10027

Dear Mrs. Catherine:

It gives me immense pleasure to recommend Janet Smith to you. I am the Head Sales Manager at Bridgeplus Co., and I have been overseeing Janet's performance from December of 2007 to December of 2010 as a saleswoman.

She is definitely a promising employee and stands out among the several other people whom I have worked with. Without any doubt, she would serve as a great asset to your company. She puts in a lot of effort and has a huge passion for her work. She is a quick learner and this I can say from the fact that within the first three weeks, she knew everything concerned about the products she was dealing with. Within a short period during her tenure she was honored with the "Top Salesperson of the Year" award twice. That proved her commitment and dedication towards her work.

Hence, it is my belief that Janet will be a valuable asset to your company. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me and I'll be glad to respond to any queries that you have.

Sincerely,

(Signature)

Samantha Miclaus

P.S.: Enclosed as stated.

Keeping this example of block format in hand, you can also choose to go for a modified block format or an indented template format, as per your wish.

There is no specification regarding the occasions when the formats need to be used. However, if one starts writing a letter in a certain format, it needs to be continued in the same format, till the end. Professional letters are seldom long, as they are mostly kept short and brief. However, in the event that there is a requirement for a long letter, the writer can have more than three paragraphs. The first and the last paragraphs need to be kept short though. This is where I sign off! Happy letter writing!