In your class or during your career, you may find yourself in the situation of having to write a professional letter. This guide is designed to give you an overview of the basics for writing a professional letter.

  1. Before You Begin - Consider Format

    Choose a professional and easy to read font like Times New Roman, Ariel, or Calibri. Typically, professional letters are single-spaced with an extra space left between each paragraph. Unlike academic writing, you do not need to indent new paragraphs. The extra space between paragraphs makes it clear where each one begins and ends
  2. Identify Your Address

    If the paper you are using has a letterhead across the top, this will likely include the right information. However, should you be preparing a professional letter that will not be printed on letterhead paper, you will want to identify yourself as the sender first. At the top of the page, include the address for your business, school, or organization. Do not include your home address.
  3. Add the Date

    Underneath your address, add an extra blank line and enter the date you are sending the letter.
  4. Identify Your Recipient

    Skip another line and then add the information of the person you are addressing the letter to. This information should include his or her name and address. When you identify the recipient, it is good to also include the proper salutation: Ms., Mrs., Mr., or Dr. If you do not know which salutation a woman prefers, use Ms.
  5. Greet Your Reader

    After the address is complete, skip a line again and greet your reader. The standard professional greeting is “Dear,” but many people also use the recipient’s name alone. Either way, follow the person’s name with a colon. If you do not know the specific name of the person you are sending your letter to, you can use their title instead. Example: Curriculum Director of Lakeview Schools.
  6. Close the Letter

    After the final paragraph of your letter, skip a line and include your closing. Professional closings range from “thank you” to “sincerely,” so choose the closing that best fits your purpose for writing. If you are asking someone to do something or consider something, then “thank you” make sense. If you are sharing information without requiring your reader to do anything, then “sincerely” is a good fit.

    Under the closing, skip four lines and then type your name. This will leave a white space on the printed page so you can include your signature.

  7. Proofread

    To ensure there are not any errors or typos in your professional letter, leave time to proofread. For help with this step, see these tips for proofreading.


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