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Whether it is by snail mail or electronic mail (or e-mail), how to address a letter properly is important because it is the first step to getting your message across. This is essential most especially when writing for employment or business, and for writing to formal agencies such as the government or big institutions.
Simply put, how you address a letter can possibly entice or turn off its reader.
1. Decide how formal your letter needs to be.
- The next few steps will be for more professional-type letters.
- Informal letters can be handwritten and without the address and stiff salutation.
2. Know the appropriate title to use. For example:
- Mr. for male
- Ms. for female (regardless if the addressee is married)
- Dr. for a medical doctor or someone with a PhD
In case you are not sure of the person’s title or gender, use their full name instead.
3. If it is an official letter or business letter you are writing :
- Write the addressee’s name on the first line, designation on the second line and address or office on the third and fourth lines.
4. Write the date below the contact’s name, designation and address. Leave a space in between the contact information and the date.
5. Begin your salutation with “Dear (title + name) followed by a comma or colon, a space, and then the first paragraph of your letter.
In case you do not have a specific contact person, use general salutations such as:
- Dear Sir or Madam
- To whom it may concern
When you have finished properly addressing your letter, the more important part is writing down the necessary content. Do not forget to proofread your work before you send it.
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