How To Write An Official Letter: Format, Types And Example

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 18 April 2022

Official letters help express an opinion or provide important information to others professionally. A well-drafted official letter can help you convey your message of acceptance, interest, complaint, gratitude or recommendation effectively. When writing an official letter, it is important to follow a specific structure or format throughout the entire document. In this article, we discuss how to write an official letter, highlight some of its key components and share a template and an example letter to help you craft your own.

How to write an official letter

Understanding how to write an official letter can help you establish business relationships. Creating a concise and clear official letter helps explain your intent and purpose in a way your audience may easily understand. Here is a step-by-step process to writing an official letter:

1. Choose a professional font and size

Make sure your letter is both easy to comprehend and easy to read. Arial and Times New Roman are examples of professional fonts that complement most types of official correspondence. Keep the font size between 12 to 14 points.

2. Pick a format and follow the template

Follow the official letter writing format throughout your letter. Set the spacing and margins so that the letter looks professional. Ensure that the text has uniform spacing between paragraphs. By doing so, you can improve readability.

3. Create your heading

You can begin addressing your letter after you have selected the font. First, write your name in the top left-hand corner of the page. Include your name, address and current date. You can also include your phone number and email if you are requesting further contact. You can now input the recipient's address information directly beneath yours. Write their name, title of their organisation if they are representing one, followed by the address.

4. Begin your introduction with a salutation

You can now formally greet your readers. Use phrases such as Dear Sir/Madam or refer to them by their last name. If you know both their first name and last name, you can include that in the salutation. For example, you can write, Dear Rohit Agarwal. If you know their gender, you can write, Dear Mr Rohit Agarwal or Dear Ms Shalini Agarwal.

5. Use body paragraphs to state your reason for writing

The body paragraphs are where you can capture your main points and professionally explain your concerns, opinions or other information to your recipient. You can briefly introduce yourself and begin by explaining your reason for writing this letter. It can be a problem, a solution, a business proposal, or any other official matter. Explain your point or statement with all relevant details, facts and examples.

6. Add your conclusion paragraph and signature

Consider writing a conclusion paragraph to end your letter with a friendly note. In this paragraph, you can repeat your main point, explaining any possible next steps or thanking the recipient for taking the time to read your letter. After closing the letter, you can provide your closing signature at the end of the document. You can use signature phrases such as Thank you, Yours sincerely, Regards and Yours truly.

7. Mention and add your enclosures

Enclosures are additional materials added to your letter to support your document, similar to when you attach a file to an email. If you are attaching a document to your letter, consider mentioning it near the end of your letter. To inform the reader about an additional document, you can include the word "enclosure" at the end of the letter after your name.

8. Proofread your letter before sending it

Review, edit and proofread your letter before sending it. Check for spelling errors, inconsistencies in format, grammar errors and address and designation inaccuracies. You can use online tools for proofreading.

Related: How To Write A Formal Letter

Why is an official letter important?

An official letter helps convey business messages in an official, formal way. You can use them for business transactions of all kinds, including job applications, resignations, complaints and recommendations. An official letter symbolises credibility, confidentiality, trust, goodwill and formal agreement. You can write an official letter for:

  • discussing business purposes

  • establishing business/corporate relationships

  • exchanging business/career-related ideas and information

  • documenting a formal agreement

  • acknowledging a formal acceptance or closing of an agreement

Related: How To Write A Job Offer Acceptance Letter (With Samples)

Types of official letters

People may write official letters for various reasons that involve professionally expressing their interests, concerns or disagreements. Here are some common types of official letters:

Acceptance letter

If you accept a job offer, it is a good policy to write an acceptance letter. Usually, these are letters of job acceptance sent by prospective employees to their prospective employers. These letters typically include a statement of confirmation that the newly hired employee has accepted the job offer by their new employer. It may also state that the employee can start work from the agreed-upon date, following the job descriptions and duties agreed.

Resignation letter

When an employee leaves their current position, they may send a brief letter to their employer . A resignation letter is an official letter sent by employees to their employers informing them of their notice period, pending tasks and handover of responsibilities. This helps you communicate your decision to leave your employer in a positive, respectful way, regardless of your reasons.

Complaint letter

Individuals or companies often express complaints about products or services in the form of an official letter. The complainant sends this to the service provider with information about the nature of their complaint, the exact details and how they want their complaint resolved. This ensures that the service provider understands the details and provides the necessary assistance.

Cover letter

Applicants can write cover letters when applying for a new job position, grant programmes or educational programmes. These types of letters include a candidate's work history, skills and experience. The employer can use this information to determine if a candidate is suitable for the position.

Letter of interest

If a candidate is interested in working for a company but does not see any job postings for their desired position, they may write a letter of interest stating that they would like to pursue a position with the company if an opportunity is available. In your cover letter, you can describe your qualifications and skills. The hiring manager can use this information when determining whether you are suitable for the job.

Letter of recommendation

An institution may request a letter of recommendation from an applicant when they are applying for a job position or educational programme. Referral letters are formal statements by someone endorsing another individual's credibility. This type of official letter includes the skills, abilities and expertise of a candidate for a particular programme, course or job.

Related: How To Write And Properly Format Business Email Messages

Official letter format

You can follow this format when writing an official letter:

[Your name]
[Your street name and number]
[City, state pin code]

[Company name]
[Company street name and number]
[City, state pin code]

[Current date]

[Recipient name]
[Recipient job title]

Dear [recipient name],

[In your first paragraph, you introduce the recipient of the letter by explaining why you have written it. The next two to three sentences explain the topic more comprehensively.]

[Use all appropriate details to explain the matter or topic further in the second paragraph.]

[Conclude your letter in the last paragraph. You can thank them for their time reading this and can suggest any necessary follow-up steps.]

[Closing sign off],
[Your name]
[Signature]

Enclosure: [the supporting document you have enclosed]

Official letter example

Here is an example of an official letter that you can model to write your own letter:

Anwesha Biswas
10243 Kanpur Ln
Kanpur City, UP-091283

Rockers Media Group
13334 Sunflower Ln
Kanpur City, UP-09843

1**4th November 2021

Sameer Sharma
Account Manager

Dear Mr Sameer Sharma,

It is with regret that I am informing you of my resignation as Account Coordinator at Rockers Media Group, effective two weeks from now.

I am thankful for all the inspiration, motivation and support I received during my time working here. In the next couple of weeks, I will focus on completing the remainder of my projects and providing any necessary training to make the transition as smooth as possible.

If you would like to schedule a time to discuss this further, let me know when you are available. Thank you for your continued support and for taking the time to read this.

Sincerely,

Anwesha Biswas

Enclosed:
List of my current projects
The schedule for completing them all

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