We have all learned in school how to write general essays, argumentative writing and of course a little bit of creative writing as well. By knowing these general forms of writing, we often consider ourselves experts until the day when we are asked to write an important business letter, especially within the first week of starting a new job! Like everyone else, you turn to Google for ways to write a business letter perfectly.
In whichever path you’ve taken to come to read this post, I am sure your purpose is to know how to write better. This article will show you some ways in which you can definitely ace your next business writing.
1) Know your audience
Your focus should be on your audience. You are writing for them, so put yourself in their shoes and re-read your own writing and be your own judge. Read and see if you are able to bring an effective start to the letter, if needed, don’t hesitate to edit.
2) Plan and think before you start writing
The common mistake that everyone makes is that they work through their thoughts as they write. It makes your writing less structured, repetitive and you tend to make more mistakes. So plan a structure before you start to type the document. It will help you write faster as well because you’ve already had the plan; all you need is the right words.
3) Be specific and direct
Don’t unnecessarily throw words from a thesaurus. Your main focus is how to engage your audience throughout your letter. Business letters are not about what you know; it’s about how you are able to convince them through a small piece of writing. Don’t try too hard to flaunt your vocabulary. Yes, it’s important to use effective words, but don’t overuse them. Also making letters too long can make the audience bored, so make sure you are precise and to the point from the start. It is going to be easy for you to be specific if you’ve planned your document before writing. A plan will constantly remind you that you shouldn’t overwrite or drift off from the main point.
4) Keep re-reading as you write
This will save time for a long final edit. Of course, you will have to edit your document before giving it off, editing as you write will help you save time and also it will stop from drifting off.
5) Add headings
Add headings to your document, as it makes it easier for the reader to scan through the whole document to get the real essence of your letter.
6) Know the importance of practice
You will not become an expert by just reading tips. It will guide you for sure but you have to do the hard work of practicing. Practice makes you perfect.
7) Be formal
Business letters are formal letters. It’s not a letter that you are writing to your school friend. Your audience could be your friends but still, it’s important to have a formal tone throughout your letter. Use formal opening and closing lines. Don’t end the letter by using a cute ‘xoxo’ in a hope that your audience will get convinced.
8) Read sample letters
This again is a part of practice that you should read letters written by others to give you an initial idea of how it’s usually written. Don’t ‘copy-paste’ their letter and change the name into yours, rather learn the tricks they use to express.
9) Don’t make the letter too long
Generally, audience tends to lose interest as they go on and on reading. Grab their attention at the very start itself and use the right language to convince, for example.
10) Edit, Edit, Edit
Read your work twice or thrice to check if you’ve made any spelling errors, missed any punctuation mark or any grammatical mistake. Editing will also help you to cut out words that are unnecessary.