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How to Write a Business Letter & Enclosing Cover Page

by Ruth Mayhew

Standard business letter format starts with proper margins, which usually are 1 inch at the top, bottom and sides. There should be enough "white space" so the letter doesn't look cluttered or disorganized, and it should appeal to the reader's eye by using black ink on white or off-white paper. Soiled paper or paper in odd, garish colors detracts from the professional look of a business letter.

Essentials: Substance and Form

Appearance is just one aspect of writing a business letter that you enclose as a cover page for application materials or other documents that you transmit in writing. Your letter must contain an introduction, or the reason you're writing. The introduction also describes what you're attaching or what's enclosed in the envelope -- that's why your letter is referred to as a cover page. The body of your letter should be succinct and free from typographical and grammatical errors. This is the substantive section of your letter and it's usually one or two paragraphs. Conclude your business letter with a final paragraph that restates your purpose and informs the reader of how you intend to follow up or how the reader can contact you. End with a respectful closing salutation, such as "Sincerely," or "Kind regards," and sign your name in ink or affix an electronic signature.

About the Author

Ruth Mayhew began writing in 1985. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry" and "Human Resources Managers Appraisal Schemes." Mayhew earned senior professional human resources certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute and holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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