How to Address a Letter: This generation of people are having numerous available sources to address the letter such as SMS, Phone, and Emails. Formal or professional people are using the SMS or email platforms to write a letter to the recipient & getting a response in return. However, professional letter writing is an outstanding skill when you’re job hunting, career networking, or sending other business-related correspondence.
Hence, the letter should follow all the rules of professional letter writing, especially the sender’s contact information, date, salutations, and recipient’s address. Studying & practicing how to write a letter the right way improves the sender’s stand out from the rest and creates a positive impression on the recipient.
So, read this article completely and learn how to address a letter perfectly. Also, you can explore more Letter Writing Topics both formal and informal from our site and get familiar with various letter writing styles.
What is the Format to Address a letter?
While writing a letter, ensure that you consider the proper address format for the envelope along with the letter itself. At the time of business or expert letter writing, one should follow a few things for the letter. Also, in the process of learning how to address a letter, below are part of the things to include in the letter:
- Contact Details
- Name and Address of Recipient
Dive into the below sections, and learn briefly about each point mentioned above:
1. Contact Details at the top: At first, knowing the person who you are addressing is a must, and want to write the person’s name, your designation, where you come from, and the address which will be used when replying to your letter. The sender’s contact information is as follows:
- First line: Full name
- Second line: Company name
- Third line: Street address
- Fourth line: City or town, followed by the state name and zip code. The state name can be shortened to its official postal two-letter abbreviation.
- The address should appear under the sender’s name and must align to the left.
- In case you are drafting the letter to another country person, then the name of the country should be in the fourth line.
- In order to communicate easily, you should include an email address and phone number.
2. Date: After addressing the contact information, one more important details that you need to follow is to write the date on which the letter was sent, and align it to the left or right margin. For instance, the date can be written as December 15, 2020, or 15-12-2020.
3. Recipient’s Name and Address: Once you have entered the sender’s address and date to the left margin, the recipient’s name and address should appear. Here, you have to enter the name and mailing address of the intended recipient. Also, you can write the title or degrees that the recipient holds.
For instance, you’re drafting a letter to the professor, then you have to address the recipient’s address as “John Jones, Ph.D.” Under the name, write the company name on the second line following with the rest of the address like street and city, and state and zip code in the last line. If the recipient is in another country, indicate the name of the country in the fourth line.
4. Salutations: After the recipient’s address, leave one line and write the greeting/salutation. The choice of salutation depends on the recipient of the letter. If you know the recipient then you can use this salutation as “Dear,” and is advised if you’ve never met the recipient of the letter. The salutation is followed by the person’s name and punctuated with a colon or comma.
In case you don’t have any idea about the recipient is a man or a woman, then make use of this “Dear Sir or Madam” followed by a colon. If the recipient is a woman and doesn’t know the material status then use “Ms.” in the salutation. This rule is the same for the professional titles as well so you can use Dr., Professor, and Honorable. Examples of salutations include:
- Dear Mr. Jones
- Dear Ms. Jones
- Dear Dr. John
- Dear Professor Markle
Sample of Addressing a Letter
The following sample letter in the box will help you understand how to address a professional letter:
Your City, State Zip Code
Email: [email protected]
Date: January 10, 2021
City, State Zip Code
I’m writing regarding your institute’s upcoming career development event. I would like to book a booth as we are looking to hire two assistant software professionals.
We are from the Web DTA Designs company, and we would like to get in touch with some of your computer science students who are in their final years. We work in the web development field.
Kindly let me know if you can reserve a room at your event. You can get in touch with me through my mail id or phone number, anytime.
Signature (if required)
FAQs on Addressing a Letter both Formal and Informal
1. How do you address a letterhead?
Usually, the sender’s address is entered on the letterhead. When you’re not using any letterhead, the sender’s address to be included at the top of the letter one line above the date. All the way what you need to include in the sender’s address is the street address, city, and zip code.
2. How do you address a letter when you don’t know the recipient?
Technically the correct way to address a letter when you don’t know the recipient’s name is ‘Dear Sir’, but nowadays people are preferring ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ to address the letter.
3. How do you properly address a letter?
While writing a letter to someone professional or informal, you should follow the below format of addressing the letter:
- Recipient’s name.
- Business’s name (if applicable)
- Street address (with apartment or suite number)
- City, State, and ZIP code (on the same line)*