Professional Business Letter Templates, Cover Letters, CVs & Resumes

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Block Format for Business Letters

The style and format for writing business letters has evolved over the past several decades and has adjusted itself to more or less the corporate culture of its times. The most commonly followed and universally accepted business letter format of the present times is the Block format of writing business letters.

Apart from the Block Format there are also two more formats namely the Modified Block Format and the Semi-Block Format. But we recommend that you follow the block format of business letters unless specified otherwise by your organisation.

Business Letter Format – The Block Format
The block format is the simplest format to follow and specifies that all the content of the business letter should be left aligned and justified. Note that you don’t indent at all in the block format or block style. Have a look at the following sample business letter to understand the different elements of the block format of business letters.


2130 Fairmount Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19130                                                  I – Return Address
United States
Single space
June 21, 2015                                                                II – Current Date
Two to three spaces
Mrs. Katie Ross                                                             
The Admissions Dept, Rockefeller College
61 Nassau St                                                                  III – Inside Address
Princeton, NJ 08542
United States
Double space
Dear Mrs Katie Ross:                                                     IV – Salutation
Double space
Subject: Application for scholarship                                V – Subject Line       
Double space
I write to you to know the status of my application for admission into the prestigious fellowship program at Rockefeller College....................
Double space
The details of my application are as follows................... VI - Body 
Double space
Please update me with the status as soon as possible. I have also enclosed a copy of my application for reference......
Double space
Sincerely yours,                                                              VII – Closing

                       Four to five spaces for signature           VIII – Signature


Jonathan Webb                                                              IX – Printed Name
Student
Double space
Enclosures (2)
1.    Application Letter
2.    Application Form                                                       X - Enclosures
Double space
Reference Initials                                                           XI – Reference Initials



Margins and Paper: A Business Letter is always written on a standard 8”x 11”A4 size paper with 1” to 1.5” margin on the each side of the paper. Official letters are printed on a bond paper of good quality. The font has to a standard font out of Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman or Verdana. 

I – Return Address: The address of the sender is written without the name of the sender. There is no heading or any indent and the address line starts on the left.

II – Current Date: The date is written after a single space starting with the month eg. January 10, 2015 or starting with the day followed by the month eg. 10 January, 2015. The comma is always placed before the year.

Refer to the sample above for line spacing mentioned in italics wherever applicable.
Business Letter Format in Block Style

III – Inside Address: The address of the recipient with the Name and designation of the recipient. If you are not sure of the designation it’s better to leave it blank. Note that both the return address and the inside address do not have any commas or full stops.

IV – Salutation: The salutation starts with a Dear followed by Mr. / Mrs. / Miss followed by full name and ends with a colon. Some organisation prefer to leave out the word dear and simply address the recipient with Mr./ Mrs/ Miss. A doctor should be addressed as Dr.

V – Subject Line: The subject line is very important and should be as concise as possible yet give the full context of the letter. Read more about how to write a professional business letter to get this right. The above sample is a type application letter.

VI – Body: The main content of the letter is written mainly in three to four paragraphs. The first paragraph is the introduction followed by the details and third and fourth paragraphs are action points and conclusion respectively. Double line spaces are left after each paragraph. The body changes as per the different types of business letters and needs to be modified accordingly.

VII – Closing: The closing of the letter is used to establish your position with respect to the recipient. It tells the reader that you have finished and is usually written as ‘Sincerely yours’ or ‘Thanking you’. Notice that only the first letter is capitalised and not each letter. Keep this short to two to three words.

VIII – Signature: This is where you sign. Leave enough space of four to five lines so that you signature is just above your printed name.

IX – Printed Name: Your printed name along with your designation. Again there are no commas or full stops in here too.

X – Enclosure/s: If there is only one enclosure mention it in front of the word <Enclosure:>. If you have more than one enclosures the mention the number of enclosures other than the letter itself in the brackets as shown above. Then write the document names and reference numbers of each enclosure in a ordered list below it.

XI – Reference Initials: (Optional) if you have marked cc or bcc to any other department mention it here.

This is about it! Congratulations! You can now draft those perfect professional business letters in the block format. However it’s always good to have a look at some business letter templates or application letters and understand the process of drafting good quality business letters.

Found this article useful or feel there is something we left out? Let us know through the comments section below.


Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA

  1 comment:

  1. Good post.Thank you so much for sharing this post.

    ReplyDelete

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