Resumes & Cover letters

How to Write a Professional Letter: A Complete Guide

Even if email has become the favored method of corporate communication, there continue to be certain instances where a professional letter is the best choice of correspondence. Your message should be courteous, formal, and succinct when drafting a professional letter. You must be familiar with a suitable business letter format to complete this task effectively. In this post, we define professional letters, discuss when and how to write them, and offer templates, examples, and advice to help you create effective professional letters.

What exactly is a professional letter?

Professional letters are employed to communicate business-related matters for a variety of reasons, including networking, career advancement, employment, and business. Depending on the circumstance, they may be employed to make a good impression on prospective employers, demonstrate professionalism and kindness, or let the receiver get to know you on a professional and personal level. A duplicate of any professional letters you send to potential or present employers is frequently kept on file, together with your resume and any other pertinent materials, as part of your permanent record.

When is it appropriate to send a professional letter?

A professional letter may be used in a variety of situations. They may be employed, for instance, in:

Express gratitude

A formal letter is a fantastic technique to express your appreciation for several professional circumstances. These letters are typically given out following an appointment or interview.

Resign from a job

A professionally prepared resignation letter can make it more likely that you’ll be capable of terminating your current position on friendly terms with the organization.

Give or request a reference

Whether you’re requesting somebody to give a reference for you or have been requested to do so for somebody else, you have to ensure the letter is formal, understandable, and succinct.

Build a relationship

Networking is frequently done with the help of professional letters. For instance, you may send a business letter to ask for a meeting, introduce yourself to a new contact, recommend someone, or follow up on a meeting.

Make a job inquiry

Sending letters to businesses enquiring about possible employment openings can be beneficial while you’re seeking work. Starting a discussion can show ambition, drive, and confidence. These potential companies might be hiring but haven’t yet posted opportunities to employment boards. If you choose to send a letter of inquiry, you must structure it similarly to a cover letter by outlining your qualifications for the job.

Bid farewell to customers or coworkers.

A farewell letter is sent to coworkers, business associates, and clients. One of these letters allows you the option to share details about the best way to stay in touch, regardless of if you or the other individual is going on. To let interested individuals know that you are leaving, retiring, or taking on a new position, you could write a farewell letter.

Strengthen a resume

During the application process for jobs, cover letters are frequently used to highlight your qualifications as a candidate and increase your chances of landing an interview.

Congratulate a person

When a coworker or business contact accomplishes something at work, retires, launches their own business, receives a promotion, or accepts a new position, it can be a lovely professional courtesy to send them a congratulations note.

Show gratitude

Building gratifying and significant professional ties can be done by expressing your gratitude. You might express your gratitude in writing for a variety of reasons, such as a person who helped you with your job hunt, a coworker who supported you at work or to recognize excellent performance.

Make corrections

A letter of apology is a helpful starting step in the process of making apologies whether you failed to meet a deadline, arrived late for an interview, or committed an error at work. You can start the process of mending the relationship by owning up to your error and expressing remorse.

How to draft a professional letter

The measures you should take to write a successful business letter are listed below:

1. Provide your address.

You can omit this step if you’re employing paper with a business letterhead. If not, put your company’s, institution’s, or company’s address in the upper left side of the page. The only information you have to supply here is the house address, town, state, and ZIP code because your name and title will be mentioned in the closing.

2. State the date.

The date you composed the letter or finished it should appear just underneath your address. This is formatted in the U.S. with the month, day, and year listed first. As an illustration, you may type “August 31, 2021.”

3. Provide the name and address of the receiver.

You should then write the recipient’s address along with their name after omitting a line. Generally speaking, it’s ideal to designate a specific recipient, so if you’re unsure, do some research or contact the company to determine whom to address.

4. Choose a formal salutation.

The usual salutation in business correspondence is “Dear,” however some people prefer to use the receiver’s name instead. Use the proper personal title for the recipient of your letter, like Mr., Miss, Ms., Mrs., or Dr., along with their last name, except if you are familiar with them and frequently address them by that name. It is also allowed to use the receiver’s full name in place of a personal title if you are unclear about their gender. Whatever format you choose, insert a colon after the receiver’s name.

5. Start the letter off with a cordial tone.

No matter why you are writing the letter, start it off with something agreeable. This can make the reader feel good about reading your letter and increase the likelihood that they’ll be receptive to what you’ve got to say. You may begin the letter with something like, “I hope that this letter reaches you well.”

6. Beginning with the letter’s objective

Give the reader a clear understanding of your aim after a pleasing opening statement. Employ clear, formal language so the receiver can understand your message right away. For instance, you may write, “I’m writing to request you to talk at my firm’s national conference this June”.

7. Draft the body.

Professional letters must be succinct and unambiguous, just like the majority of work-related correspondence. Usually, a cordial salutation should be followed immediately by the purpose of the letter. Afterward, you should go on to fully explain your core idea by giving examples, context, and justification. The goal of the letter should be restated in the concluding paragraph, along with a call to action. Say something like, “Please get in touch with me if you have any other inquiries or worries.”

8. Add a suitable conclusion.

Put a professional signoff after the letter, then put a comma after it. “Thank you,” “sincerely,” or “regards” are a few examples. You should omit the final four lines to include a signature, then write your name after the close.

9. Check your work for errors.

Make sure the letter is error-free by giving it a thorough proofread. You’ll often have a better chance of finding typographical and grammatical issues, as well as any awkward wording, by reading the letter aloud.

What to put in a professional letter’s first paragraph

When introducing yourself in a professional letter, you can use the phrases below:

  • A formal salutation: Employ a formal salutation to greet the recipient and demonstrate your deference. “Dear” represents the most typical professional salutation, and you can use it well in almost every circumstance.
  • Proper language: Using formal language is appropriate even if you are close to the receiver.
  • Correct punctuation: Put a period after “Mrs.” and “Dr.,” then complete your greeting with a colon, like “Dear Dr. Smith:”
  • The recipient’s name: When starting a formal letter, try to always add the contact person. If you do not know the receiver’s name, use the most precise and direct salutation you can, such as “Dear Recruitment Manager,” for example, while you’re preparing a cover letter.

What not to put in a professional letter’s opening

While composing a business letter or cover letter, there are a few other things to keep away from, such as the following:

  • Informal salutations: When drafting a business letter, several salutations are inappropriate. The salutations “Hello,” “Hey you,” and “Good morning” are among them.
  • Out-of-date titles: Avoid using out-of-date titles when you’re unclear about the contact person, even though you may not constantly be able to mention the receiver’s name. “Dear Sir or Madam” and “To Whom It May Concern” are a couple of examples.
  • If the gender of the receiver is unclear, use an honorific: In some cases, you may only be aware of the contact person’s name and gender. Just omit an honorific like “Mr.” or “Ms.” before the receiver’s name in this instance and use only their first and last name.

Guidelines for writing a professional letter correctly

Listed below are additional hints for drafting a professional letter:

  • Format properly. Professional letters typically follow a block format, which means that the body is single-spaced and the words are justified to the left. Paragraphs are then separated by a double space.
  • Select the proper font. The font Times New Roman remains a good choice, but Arial or Calibri are also suitable substitutes. Times New Roman is typically the best choice when writing to a conventional organization or individual. Whatever font you choose, size 12 is seen as appropriate and professional.
  • Use the appropriate voice. No matter who you are speaking to, your tone should always be polite and formal.
  • Maintain simplicity. Time is business money, so you need to be as concise as you can. Keep your message between two and three paragraphs in length, and be as succinct as you can.
  • If you have known the recipient personally for a long time, include their first name in the salutation; otherwise, if you are addressing them for the initial time, just utilize their last name.
  • If you’re unclear about which salutation is most suited, choose the most formal one.
  • Before mailing the letter, always double-check that the receiver’s name is spelled correctly.
  • When starting a professional letter, use the recipient’s name at any time possible.

Samples of salutations for professional letters

All of the opening salutations listed below are suitable for use in professional letters:

  • Dear Mr. Warisan Syarikat
  • Dear Mrs. Moore
  • Dear Dr. Davis
  • Dear Samantha Hansen
  • Dear HRM Manager
  • Dear Chefs and Inc. Recruiter
  • Dear Recruitment Manager

Template for a professional letter

You can use the following model to help you write your professional letter:

[Your home address]

[The date]

[Name of the recipient]

[Address of the recipient]

Dear [Recipient’s Title and Last Name]:

[Explain the letter’s goal and include any pertinent information.]


[Your name]

Sample of a professional letter

You can use the following sample as a model for how a suitable letter ought to be written:

0987 Fitzgerald Drive

Tampa, Georgia 3789

Sept. 21, 2021

Thomas Carpenter

1458 Hurdon Lane

Jacksonville, Georgia 4789

Dear Mr. Carpenter,

Please accept my sincere gratitude for your assistance with our most recent customer campaign. We’ve already received rave reviews from the client about your efforts on the aesthetics and website revamp, which is simply stunning. They appear to be as pleased with the outcome as we are.

I also value the level of commitment you showed during this assignment. You put in a lot of overtime, regularly went above and beyond your obligations, and graciously adapted to any changes.

Having you as a partner was a delight. Should you ever require a recommendation or a reference for your portfolio, don’t be afraid to get in touch.

Thank you one more.

Marissa Dominguez


If you want your letter to fit inside a business-size envelope, fold it in thirds before mailing it. The addresses can be handwritten on the envelope or printed using any word processing tool.

Inscribe your name in the upper left corner of the envelope’s front. In the middle of the envelope, parallel to the long side, print the receiver’s address. Right at the edge of the envelope, place a stamp.

Frequently Asked Questions about Professional Letters

  • How do you begin a professional letter?

“Dear (first name) (last name)” is the ideal salutation for a formal letter. It exhibits professionalism, civility, and respect. If you know the receiver’s title, you can use it after “Dear.” If you do not know someone’s first and last name, utilize their job title instead.

  • What would a formal salutation for a letter look like?

The formal greeting is Dear [title], followed by the last name. It’s a smart option to use Dear [First and last name] or Dear [First name] if you’re unclear about the person’s pronouns. Use Hello or Greetings if you are unsure of the recipient’s name.

  • How do you begin a formal letter to anybody it may concern?

It is customary to capitalize the initial letters of every word and include a colon after the phrase “To Whom It May Concern” when addressing a letter. To whom This May Concern: After skipping the subsequent line, begin the letter’s first paragraph.

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