3 Formal Letter Examples and How to Write Your Own

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Formal letters are an important part of professional communication. Depending on your career, you may write formal letters to communicate your resignation, employment acceptance or formal inquiry. If you're writing a formal letter, learning more about what they are and how to do so successfully can be beneficial. In this article, we review examples of formal letters, detail the different kinds of formal letters, describe the steps you can follow to write one and provide helpful tips for crafting an effective professional letter.

Related: 16 Types of Business Letters to Boost Your Written Communication

3 formal letter examples

Reviewing the three formal letter examples below can help you determine how to write your own and what to include:

Example 1

This example shows a professional making a formal business request:

Guiying Tao Design Institute
Hong Kong

Jan. 13, 2022

Ms Hua Xinyi
Xinyi Designs
Hong Kong

Dear Ms Xinyi,

I am the president of the Hong Kong chapter of the Design Institute. We are holding a conference on Dec. 5, 2022, at the Bao Yang Art Museum. I am writing to invite you to not only attend the event but to give a speech if you so choose. I believe you'd be a great fit for our lineup of speakers given your background in art direction and photography.

Please reply at your earliest convenience to make proper arrangements. I look forward to speaking with you.

Guiying Tao

Design Institute President

Example 2

Here's an example showing how to ask about a position opening:

Xun Lim
xumlim@email.com
Hong Kong

Jan. 13, 2022

Da Huang
Chao Guanyu Corporation
Hong Kong

Dear Da Huang:

I am writing to express my interest in the graphic designer position at Chao Guanyu Corporation. I was excited to see the job posting on the Chao Guanyu Corporation careers page, and I believe I'd be a great fit for the role. I would love to hear about the role in greater detail.

While I was a student at Green University, I studied graphic design and took several courses to enhance my design skills and overall aesthetic. Since graduating, I've held roles as a graphic designer where I've been able to use my in-depth knowledge of colour theory, font pairings and design software to create visually appealing logos, brochures, flyers and more. I believe my experience combined with my animation abilities would be a great benefit to your company.

I have enclosed my resume, which details my prior experience and accomplishments in design. I am confident that my skills and passion for this industry would be a great fit for Chao Guanyu Corporation. I would love to arrange an opportunity for us to discuss the role further. I look forward to hearing from you and learning more about this exciting opportunity.

Sincerely,

Xun Lim
xumlim.com

Example 3

You can reference this example when writing a formal letter accepting a new role:

Lei Ju
leiju**@email.com
Hong Kong

Nov. 13, 2022

Qing Guiying
Hiring manager
Hong Kong

Dear Qing Guiying,

I am extremely pleased to accept your employment offer for the position of regional manager with Chen Min Company. As we discussed over the phone today, my salary starts at $40,000 per month with an opportunity for increases after one year of employment. My benefits begin 90 days following my first day of employment.

I've delivered my resignation letter to my current employer and intend to start at Chen Min Company following the two-week notice. My first day of employment is November 22, 2022.

I look forward to working with you.

Best,

Lei Ju

Related: 7 Powerful Ways to Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)

Types of formal letters

Depending on who you're sending the letter to, you may format it differently. Formal letters are useful for communicating information and respectfully showing your interest. These are some forms of formal letters you may send:

  • Sales letter: Sales letters are formal letters that aim to promote a company's product or service. It typically details why they should be purchased and includes a call to action.

  • Acceptance letter: You can use this type of formal letter when accepting an honour, resignation, job or other formality.

  • Inquiry letter: You may use an inquiry letter when you want more information about a product. A similar letter to this would be a reply to an inquiry letter.

  • Apology letter: Apology letters are useful when making a formal apology for a mistake.

  • Making a claim letter: If you're unsatisfied with a product or service, you could send a claim letter to the product or service's company or manufacturer. It would detail your dissatisfaction and what you want the company or manufacturer to do to reimburse you.

  • Cover letter: Cover letters are part of the application process and a form of communication between hiring managers and prospective job candidates. It details your qualifications for a particular job and expands on certain things mentioned in your resume.

Related: All You Need to Know About an Employment Confirmation Letter

How to write a formal letter

Learning how to write a formal letter can help you advance your career and communicate professionally. These are the steps you can follow to write a formal letter:

1. Write your contact information

It's important to include your contact information in formal communication so the recipient can respond if they want. In a physical letter, you can include a return address, your phone number and other online contact information like your email address. In an email, you may include your mailing address, depending on the content of the letter.

2. Include the date

Including the date is important for formal letters because it provides context for the recipient. They can better understand the time between when you wrote the letter and when they received it. If your formal letter refers to an application or return, including a date can be helpful to show that you contacted the recipient before a deadline.

3. Include the recipient's contact information

Depending on the context, it may be a good idea to include the recipient's contact information. If you're sending a physical letter, you may include the person's name and address to ensure it reaches them. If you're sending an email, including the recipient's information may not be as important.

Related: How to Accept a Job Offer With Sample Acceptance Letters

4. Write a subject line

When writing a formal email, it's a good idea to include a concise subject line that describes the content of the email. This can prevent your email from going to the spam folder and encourage the recipient to open it. Omitting a subject line is for more informal email communication, so it's important to include one.

5. Write a salutation

A salutation is a greeting that begins the content of your letter. Writing a formal salutation can set the right tone for the rest of your message. Some formal salutations you can use include:

  • Dear Mr, Ms or Mx

  • To [Name or title]

  • To whom it may concern

6. Write the body of the letter

After including the necessary information, you can write the body of your letter. Depending on the purpose of your message, you may format it differently and make it different lengths. Consider your recipient and the situation when choosing language and tone for the content. You can find templates for resignation, acceptance and inquiry letters in template libraries or online.

7. Include a sign-off

If you're using a block style format, include a closing like "Yours Sincerely," "Yours respectfully," or "Best." Leave a space and then include your signature and printed name. Next, include your title, phone number and email address.

Related: How to Ask for a Reference Letter (With Tips and Examples)

Tips for writing a formal letter

Writing an effective letter can improve your professionalism and enhance your communication. If you're writing a cover letter or resignation letter, how you compose it can impact your relationship with your employer. These are some helpful tips you can use when writing a formal letter:

  • Be concise: Formal letters serve a specific purpose, and it's important to be selective and clear with your language. Being concise allows you to show your respect for the recipient's time and avoid miscommunication.

  • Proofread: Proofreading is a process you can follow when you read through a text looking for grammatical and spelling errors. You can ask friends and family to help with this process or use grammar-checking programmes online.

  • Use the right tone: The tone of your letter depends on the language you use, so be sure to check for professional language. Avoid being too familiar with the recipient or using casual language and terms.

  • Use the right format: Different types of letters use varying formats, and it's helpful to use the right one. If you're using a word processor, consider using the template library to help you properly format your letter.

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