How to Write a Professional Letter

Being able to write your own professional letters will literally open doors for you.

Kinds of Professional Letters

  1. A Letter of Inquiry asks for information about an organization, a specific job opening, or other matters which you need to know in your job search. While the purpose of the letter is to get information, it is appropriate to introduce yourself briefly.
  2. The Letter of Application is the cover letter which should accompany the resume you submit for a job application. In this letter, you summarize the skills, education and experience you have which makes you qualified for the job.
  3. A Pre-Interview and Pre-Screening Letter is similar to a letter of application. It is sent for the purpose of securing an interview with a prospective employer. Enclose your resume with the letter.
  4. It is good to respond with an Interview Confirmation Letter when your request for an interview is granted. You can show your appreciation for the employer’s review of your qualifications, and confirm the arrangements for the interview.
  5. Sending a Post Interview Thank You Letter immediately after the interview will show the employers your interest and remind them of your qualifications for the job.
  6. In a Job Offer Clarification or Acknowledgment Letter, you can make relevant inquiries from the employer if a job offer has been extended. Even if you do not intend to accept the job, an acknowledgment letter shows your professionalism.
  7. A Job Offer Acceptance Letter confirms your acceptance of the job. You should restate the terms of the appointment, starting date, job title, and other pertinent information.
  8. A Job Offer Refusal Letter should be sent only after a telephone conversation where you have declined the job offer. This is a professional courtesy which you should do with tact and appreciation. Remember, you may still apply for a job with them in the future.

Parts of a professional letter

  1. The return address and the current date needs to be placed at the beginning of the letter.
  2. The address of the employer should be written at the left margin above the salutation.
  3. The salutation is the formal greeting of the letter. You can use Dear Mr. or Dear Ms. followed by the person’s last name. Punctuate with a colon (:) or a comma (,).
  4. The body of the letter should be three to five paragraphs long. Be brief and concise in stating your message.
  5. The closing follows the body of the letter.  You can use formal closings such as “Sincerely”, “Respectfully yours”
  6. Your signature should be written in blue or black ink over your typed name.
  7. If you have an attachment (your resume or transcript of records), put Enclosure at the left margin and enumerate the name(s) of the document(s) enclosed.