What Is the Correct Layout for a Letter?

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While personal letters typically begin with a simple greeting, business or formal letter begin with a collection of information that includes the date, the sender’s name and address, possibly the company the sender works for and a formal greeting. All of these should be aligned to the left side of the page.

To begin the letter, type the date on the top left side of the page. Hit enter twice to create and a line break and then type the sender’s name and address with a line for the name, a line for the first line of the address, and a line for the second line of the address. Add another line break and then add a formal greeting. If the name of the receiver is known, feel free to write that person’s name in the greeting. If it’s unknown, simply write “To Whom It May Concern” or use a job title, such as “To the HR Manager.”

After the greeting, be sure to use a colon instead of a comma. For the body of the letter, maintain a formal tone and single-space the lines. At the end, close with either “Respectfully” or “Sincerely” and then, if possible, add a handwritten signature at the bottom. Signing the letter adds a personal touch.