When laying out a formal letter you need to focus on 6 areas:
- Your address.
- The recipient’s address (who you’re sending the letter to).
- The date.
- The salutation.
- The closing.
- Your signature/name.
Place this in the upper left-hand corner of the letter in the form of:
- Street number and street name
- Post Code
- Country (only if sending the letter overseas)
- Phone number (optional)
- Email address (optional)
The date should be placed at least one line below your address and written in full.
Recipient's AddressPlace this at least one line below the date. If you wish you may include the name of the person you’re writing to, their job title or department, and company name at the top of this address.
Note: do not include the recipient’s phone number or email address.
If you know the name of the person you’re writing to, the salutation should be in the form of:
Dear/ Title/ Name e.g. Dear Mr. Smith
Note: in a formal letter it is preferable not to use the recipient’s first name.
If you don’t know the name of the person you’re writing to use “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam” instead. If you don’t know the sex of the person you can use “Dear Sir or Madam”.
The closing finishes off your letter and should be placed below the text of your letter on the left-hand side.
If you have used a person’s name in your salutation close your letter with “Yours sincerely”.
If you have used Dear Sir or Dear Madam, close the letter with “Yours faithfully”.
Signature / Name
Formal letters must be signed with your name on the bottom left of the page. Print (or type) your name below your signature.