How To Write a Request Letter (With Template and Samples)
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At your workplace, you may constantly communicate with your team members, senior officials or clients, sometimes more than once a day. While communication within a team may be informal, formal communication is mandatory in most business situations. A request letter is one such type of formal communication. In this article, we examine how to write a formal request letter, the components of a request letter and some request letter samples.
What is a formal letter of request?
You may write a formal request letter when you need a product, service, information, favour or permission from a person of authority within or outside an organisation. The letter's tone has to be formal and polite and its format has to comply with prescribed standards. Request letters can be the beginning of a chain of correspondence and hence, it is best to keep them factual.
In an individual capacity, request letters can relate to leave, change of address, salary information, appointments and resignation. A business entity request letter may include requests for product information, quotes and samples. Meeting requests, contract extensions, contract termination, requests for credit and payment requests are also examples of request letters. Businesses may have to send request letters to banks, financial institutions, government and regulatory authorities frequently.
Related: How to Write a Formal Letter
How do you start a formal letter of request?
As request letters are business letters, they are ideally structured according to a prescribed format. Address the recipient with the appropriate salutation and start the letter by introducing yourself. You can mention your name, department and any previous interaction with the recipient to refresh their memory. You can continue to explain the subject and the letter's purpose. Use simple language and vocabulary in the starting section.
Related: Business Letter Format and Example
How to write a letter of request
It is always advisable to write a business request letter on official stationery. If you do not have it handy, write your company name in the top centre with the address and contact details. Follow these steps to write a formal letter of request:
1. Include address and date
Address and date are the headers of most business letters. First, include the name, designation and address of the recipient. Place both pieces of information on the left. You can position the date at the top left of the letter or after the recipient's address. If your office has a specific format for this, you may have to follow that.
2. Include the reference and subject
Add the reference number and the subject one line below it. The subject line is an important part of a business letter as it holds the recipient's interest and prepares them for what comes in the body of the letter. Keep it short and within six to eight words.
3. Add a salutation
Enter a salutation. Dear is largely accepted as the standard salutation for business communication. You can also use Respected if the recipient is a very senior executive. Always greet the recipient formally using Dr., Mr., Mrs. or Ms. Use the second name of the person after the salutation.
4. Write the first paragraph
In the first paragraph, you can introduce yourself and your company in the first line. If you have interacted with the recipient earlier, remind them about it in an additional line. In the next line, introduce the request you want to make. The first paragraph can have three to four sentences.
5. Write subsequent paragraphs
In these paragraphs, you can add the details of the request. They could be contained in a single line or can extend to more than one paragraph if you need to provide additional information relevant to your request. For example, I would like to request leave for three days from [date] to [date].
6. Add a conclusion
Once you convey the request clearly, you can include other relevant information in the following paragraphs. You can use sentences like We hope to hear from you at the earliest, as this is a priority for us. You can also say, Do let me know if you want further information. Avoid phrases like Respond immediately or Consider this urgently.
7. Add a subscription
This is an important part of a business letter, as it maintains the formal tone of the letter. Use phrases like Thanking you, With warm regards, and Yours sincerely. Avoid using phrases like Bye for now or See you in the first interaction.
8. Place your signature
Add your full signature legibly. Avoid initials in business letters, particularly on the first page. Add your full name in bold below the signature.
9. Mention enclosures
Add Encl: to the left, if you are attaching any supporting documentation. You can provide a numbered list of the attached materials. Ensure that the materials are attached in the order you mentioned in the letter.
Request letter samples
Both employees and organisations can write request letters for a variety of reasons and purposes. Request letters are ideally courteous, polite and formal. They also follow the structure of a business letter. Here are some request letter samples for reference:
Mumbai 400 001
September 14, 2021
Reference: Notification in company newsletter about on-site opportunities
Dear Ms. Kiran,
I am Asha, a lead developer from the team 'Project Atlantis'. I am writing in response to the notification in our newsletter regarding on-site opportunities. I request you to consider my application.*
As per the criteria mentioned in the newsletter, I have completed seven years of service in our company. I have worked on four projects and have good experience of end-to-end project management. I have received a 60% appraisal over the last seven years. I currently manage a team of seven people, which I am sure is quite rare, considering my years of experience. I have also received the best-performing employee award three years in a row and more importantly, the last two from you.
I want to highlight my additional technical skills for your perusal:
Five years experience as a Python Developer
Working and hands-on knowledge on Django and Flask
As my skills and experience match your criteria for the on-site opportunity, I request you to consider my application for the same.
*Looking forward to hearing from you.
South Chennai Corporation
September 14, 2021
Reference: Tender No. 456324 dated 25/8/2012
Subject: Submission of tender for water body rejuvenation.
I introduce myself as Vijaykumar, Head of CSR from MultiTech Ltd. I am writing to you in response to the tender referred above, for rejuvenating three water bodies in South Chennai. We request you to consider our company for the same.*
MultiTech Ltd. is a 30-year-old organisation dealing in IT products and services. We specialise in shared services and have an employee count of 4000. We are committed in our goal to give back to the community. All our campuses have fulfilled required compliances for eco-certification.
In continuation of our commitment towards the environment, we submit our application for rejuvenating the 3 water bodies and maintaining them for 5 years. We are enclosing the application form with all the necessary statutory certificates, financial statements and our CSR policy statement as per the tender stipulation. We have also paid the required fee, and we have attached a copy of the same.
We are looking forward to hearing from you about the next steps. If selected, we would be privileged to partner with you towards the grand success of this program.
1. Tender Application form
2. CSR policy copy
3. Articles of Incorporation
4. Fee payment receipt
5. Balance sheet for the period 2019-20*
Request letter template
Given below is a template of a formal request letter:
[Recipient's full name]
Subject: Request for [Intent of request]
Dear [Mr./Mrs./Ms.] [Second name]
I am [Your name], from [Your company]. In continuation to our meeting on [Date], I would like to request [Details of request].
I am sharing below, the [Specific information] that my company requires:
[List item 1]
[List item 2]
[List item 3]
We would like to hear from you as early as possible. Do feel free to revert through phone or email.
[Your full signature]
[Your full name]
[List item 1]
[List item 2]
[List item 3]
Tips for writing a request letter
These are some tips for writing a request letter:
Focus on how the recipient may respond to the letter.
Share all relevant information in one letter to avoid back and forth communication.
Unless you have to share a lot of information, be brief.
Indicate your willingness to wait for a response. Avoid terms like urgent or immediately.
Be grateful, if you request a personal favour or an obligation.
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