Why Is Being Able to Write a Professional Letter Correctly so Important?
Writing a professional letter is not something that is easy to do and which many people will struggle to achieve without making mistakes. Whether you believe it or not, everything you write, no matter how short or mundane it is creates an impression of you to the reader and small details will make a difference.
Poor writing not only hurts your credibility, but it also shows bad communication abilities to whoever your letter is intended for. Writing is a skill that can be learnt just like any other, and even the most reluctant writers can improve their business writing by learning to avoid the most common mistakes.
More than ever when writing a professional letter, it’s important to know how to communicate your point quickly and professionally so our professional writers have selected some mistakes that can easily be avoided.
- Avoid Using Jokes, Humor, Sarcasm and Anecdotes. Using any form of humor or sarcasm in your writing sets the tone and you will come off as sounding unprofessional or uninformed. Although anecdotes are often interesting, they are better to be saved for verbal communication as they waste the time of a professional audience who just wants your document to get to the point.
- Don’t Use Long Words and Elaborate Phrases. They are not a sign of your intelligence and your readers may be far too busy to spend the extra time needed to decipher them. Clear and concise letters get the message across. Be blunt, keep your writing simple and stick to the point. Always write clear and straight forward sentences which avoid any unnecessary punctuation that may trip the reader up.
- Don’t Use Fonts That Are Hard to Read or Are Not Compatible with Other Peoples Computers. With their being so many fonts available, it’s tempting to use one that you believe is particularly attractive but they can be extremely hard to read, or maybe your intended reader won’t have access to the font on their computer so it will substitute a font. This can alter the entire formatting and make your letter difficult to read. Always use a font that is widely available such as Arial or Times New Roman.
- Don’t Pad Your Writing. Don’t use unnecessary words which don’t add anything to the point you are trying to make. This only succeeds to make you seem like you are embellishing the facts while the reader’s valuable time is wasted because they have to sift through frivolous words to get to the point you are trying to make.
- Don’t Skip Proofreading. Even the most professional of writers need someone to ensure that their writing is understandable and conveys its intended meeting. By getting someone else to read your work, you will increase the chance that any embarrassing errors will be found and your letter achieves its purpose.
What You Can Do to Improve Your Writing
There are a few more general pointers for writing to ensure that you maintain that professional image with which to impress your recipient:
- Keep the recipient in mind and write in a way that they can easily understand the letter.
- Don’t use abbreviations.
- Be respectful when you write, no matter what you are writing about.
- Check words that have similar meaning.
- Try to keep your letter short enough so that it fits on one page.
- Always proofread your letter again and again after writing it, as well as spelling and grammar mistakes, check for sentence structure.
Remember – “A document that is written badly can irritate colleagues and clients; fail to galvanize people; damage the reputation of an organization; and may even lose business. Conversely, a well-written document is a critical business tool: it can demonstrate expertise and knowledge; influence decision making; win new business and help to build a brand. Words are a highly usable tool. An idea or solution is pointless if you haven’t got the tools to communicate it effectively” – Jo-Rosie Haffenden, expert author.
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