Effective business letter writing
For the most part, writing a business letter has two major objectives. Those objectives are:
- To make people understand what it is you want
- To get the reader to take some sort of action
There is a problem you need resolved, you write a letter stating the problem and what should be done to fix it.
Applying for a job? Write a letter making it clear you want the job and encouraging the employer to interview you for the position.
To achieve its purpose of having the reader take the desired action, your business letter must make what you want clearly understood.
Go on reading to take your writing to a new level.
Ten ideas to make your business letter writing more effective
The following are ten ideas to improve your business letter writing and make your letters more effective:
- Know why you are writing. Know what you are trying to accomplish. Know what you want. Before writing a business letter, you should know the answers to these three questions or you can’t write an effective letter
- Consider your first effort a draft. Get down that you want to say without trying to edit or make it perfect the first time. You can revise later and make it more polished.
- Be clear. Make sure your letter is easy to understand. Avoid using a bunch of big words to sound more intelligent. It usually doesn’t work. The reader will just think you are using a bunch of big words to try and sound intelligent
- Avoid jargon, foreign words or scientific terms when possible. Think of your audience as intelligent but uninformed. If there is a plain English word that can be used instead, do so.
- Be concise. Make your point and move on to the next point. Your main point should occur in the first paragraph.
- Include all the necessary details. Don’t take conciseness to the point to where you omit important details. Include all the necessary information.
- Keep your facts straight. Make sure when writing your letter that you stick to the facts. Avoid exaggerating or altering any of the details. You never know when your letter may be pulled out to verify what was actually communicated
- Be Specific. Don’t use general statements. When writing business letter communications, provide specific details. Give numbers if you have them. You wouldn’t tell somebody to pick you up at the airport in the afternoon if your flight arrives at 1 pm. They might not show up until 3pm because “in the afternoon” is to general. You would tell them 1 pm. Give specific information and provide examples to back up statements.
- Use the active voice whenever possible. The passive voice sounds somewhat vague and may leave the reader in doubt as to what you mean. The active voice sound stronger and more self assured.
- Proofread. Eliminate spelling mistakes and errors in grammar and punctuation. They make you appear unprofessional, and make your letter more difficult to understand.
If the tips given above are not enough, feel free to review a professional letter sample and get inspired.
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