How To.Writw A Letter For.A.Job Uou Javent Heard From 7 Essential Letter Writing Strategies

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7 Essential Letter Writing Strategies

Based on the feedback that I have been getting from visitors

to my writinghelp-central.com Web site, letter writing is

definitely the area where most people are looking for help

or guidance when it comes to day-to-day writing.

Over 55% of the visitors to my site are seeking some sort of

letter writing information or assistance. The following

lists the Top Ten letters that people request information

on, in order of popularity:

* recommendation letter

* resignation letter

* thank you letter

* reference letter

* business letter

* complaint letter

* cover letter

* sales letter

* introduction letter

* apology letter

The 7 Strategies

Here are a few practical letter-writing tips and strategies

to help you when writing that next letter:

1. Keep It Short And To The Point

Letters involving business (personal or corporate) should be

concise, factual, and focused. Try to never exceed one page

or you will be at risk of losing your reader. A typical

letter page will hold 350 to 450 words. If you can’t get

your point across with that many words you probably haven’t

done enough preparatory work. If necessary, call the

recipient on the phone to clarify any fuzzy points and then

use the letter just to summarize the overall situation.

2. Make It Clear, Concise, And Logical

Before sitting down to write, make a brief point-form

outline of the matters you need to cover in the letter.

Organize those points into a logical progression that you

can use as your guide as you write the letter. The logical

blocks of the letter should be: 1. introduction/purpose,

background/explanation, summary/conclusion, action required

statement. Use this outline process to organize your

approach and your thoughts, and to eliminate any unnecessary

repetition or redundancy.

3. Focus On The Recipient’s Needs

While writing the letter, focus on the information

requirements of your audience, the intended addressee. If

you can, in your “mind’s eye”, imagine the intended

recipient seated across a desk or boardroom table from you

while you are explaining the subject of the letter. What

essential information does that person need to know through

this communication? What will be their expectations when

they open the letter? Have you addressed all these issues?

4. Use Simple And Appropriate Language

Your letter should use simple straightforward language, for

clarity and precision. Use short sentences and don’t let

paragraphs exceed three or four sentences. As much as

possible, use language and terminology familiar to the

intended recipient. Do not use technical terms and acronyms

without explaining them, unless you are certain that the

addressee is familiar with them.

5. Use Short Sentences And Paragraphs

Keep your sentences as short as possible, and break the text

up into brief paragraphs. Ideally, a paragraph should not

exceed two to three sentences. This will make the letter

more easily readable, which will entice the recipient to

read it sooner, rather than later.

6. Review And Revise It

Do a first draft, and then carefully review and revise it.

Put yourself in the place of the addressee. Imagine yourself

receiving the letter. How would you react to it? Would it

answer all of your questions? Does it deal with all of the

key issues? Are the language and tone appropriate? Sometimes

reading it out loud to one’s self can help. When you

actually “hear” the words it is easy to tell if it “sounds”

right or not.

7. Double Check Spelling And Grammar

A letter is a direct reflection of the person sending it,

and by extension, the organization that person works for.

When the final content of the letter is settled, make sure

that you run it through a spelling and grammar checker. To

send a letter with obvious spelling and grammatical errors

is sloppy and unprofessional. In such cases, the recipient

can’t really be blamed for seeing this as an indication as

to how you (and/or your organization) probably do most other

things.

The foregoing basic letter writing strategies and tips are

mostly common sense. Nevertheless, you would be amazed how

often these very basic “rules of thumb” are not employed

when people write letters.

© 2005 by Shaun Fawcett

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