How to Write Formal Letters | Get topics for email writing
It’s 11:45 p.m., you need an extension of a job project or maybe an assignment that is due at 11:59. You know that emailing them would get the job done, but, you know your manager or professor does not like informal talks in a workspace. What do you do?
Writing formal emails is always an issue. No matter how many times you have written something formal to your peers or supervisors, the truth remains that writing the email seems a little uncomfortable. However, it doesn’t need to be. One good thing about formal emails is that there are recurring characteristics that can help in writing an email.
Let us take a jump into the world of professional communication and navigate the waters of the workspace.
Format of a formal email
This is perhaps the troubling part for most people. The formal email looks like awkward interactions at best. That can be easily rectified immediately.
While the subject of emails can vary, the format of any email remains the same. It is often hard to see how that is possible since there are various letters and each has a specific requirement at hand. However, before diving into those different kinds of emails, let’s have a look at the basic format of formal mail.
Subject Line: [What the email is about]
Dear [person I am writing to] [OR] To whom it may concern[In case you don’t know who will be receiving the email],
[The first sentence is a self-introduction]. [This line indicates the acquaintance between the receiver and the sender]. [This sentence should state the purpose of the mail].
[This paragraph change is needed to discuss in detail the purpose of the email]. [This paragraph can be short or long, depending on the subject matter]. [It can also be further divided into two paragraphs].
[This is to retaliate the request mentioned in the first paragraph].
Thank you for all your time [This paragraph ends with gratitude].
Yours Sincerely [Or any other salutation],
[Your Signature] [Add first as well as the last name, and organization if applicable]
There. You are done. This may seem like a very simple example, but it is mostly true.
Different emails have different requirements. Keeping this format in mind, let us have a look at some of the important types of email and what is necessary for each type of email.
This one gets tricky. Most organizations ask their applicants to submit a cover letter along with their CV or Resume. Though this may useless because the CV would already offer the employers your credentials, cover letters are a way to pitch yourself as a good candidate for the job. It would not be too far fetched to say that in a lot of cases, cover letters decide your chances at getting employed.
It is a look at your credentials, as well as your presentations skills. A cover letter signifies what you, as a candidate, can bring to the company.
What should be included in a Cover Letter
- Polite Greeting
- Your knowledge of the opportunity
- Establish a purpose
- Explain what you as an employee would bring to the organization
Thank You Note
Interviews are stressful. Asking questions, thinking on your feet and answering with certainty. Furthermore, to make a good impression you have to show that you are confident, even if you do not feel so within.
It is hard to follow up on an interview. Yet, a thank you note would boost your chances of being considered for the hiring process.
What should be included in a Thank You note
- Gratitude for the opportunity as well as the interview.
- Retaliate why you are the perfect fit for the job role
- Mention your experience.
- Add a hopeful ending.
Let’s accept it, this happens far more often than is comfortable. Maybe you asked your professor for an appointment, or maybe you have not heard from the company you interviewed for.
Many times, it is not because you are not important or being considered as a potential candidate. Under the great pressure of work, people tend to forget to answer their emails. In case a lot of time has gone by, you can send a follow-up email.
What to include in a follow-up email
- Subject Line that is not ‘Follow-up’. Instead, mention the purpose of the mail.
- The circumstances of how and where you met. In the same flow, a reminder of why you are writing again.
- Asking for a possible future meetup.
Add a polite ending.
It is a moment of triumph when you receive a job offer or an opportunity. Of course, it is the best thing ever! But then comes the big problem- confirming your employment.
Even a simple word would do, but a good acceptance letter will make a lasting impact. You have already gotten the job, but it is never too early to leave behind a good impression.
What to write in your Acceptance Mail.
- A clear subject line
- Address the email to the appropriate party or person
- Gratitude for the offer. Be clear and concise in this.
- Agree to and list the terms of employment. State down all the information regarding your employment, including the salary and your start date.
- End with a professional signature
We get sick, there’s an emergency, or perhaps someone is getting married- there are various reasons why someone might have to take a leave. It can be a one-day or two-weeks affair. The point of this email is to explain why you are taking leave as well as get your gratitude across.
What to add in a Leave Email
- ‘Leave Application’ in the subject line, with other relevant information.
- State the reason for your absence as well as the duration.
- Attach documents, if relevant.
- If it is for a long period, mention who would be taking over your duties.
- Express gratitude for considering the leave.
- End with a professional signature
Making an appointment gets hectic. There are many things you, the person who is requesting for the appointment, need to specify. It can be related to your coursework, or maybe you are reaching out to a client. It is a common occurrence, yet penning it down each time makes the sender very anxious.
What to include in an Appointment Email
- A clear subject line, with ‘appointment’ or its synonyms mentioned.
- Introduce yourself.
- Explain the reason for the appointment.
- Give ideal places, time and date for the meeting. If you are meeting a professor or a senior, ask permission for the same. Be flexible about it.
- Request then reply.
This is a hard part. Be it leaving behind a job that you weren’t really into or leaving behind a good place for a better opportunity, Resignation is always a barrier. It is better to leave with a good relationship, no matter what context the whole thing is in.
There are some things that need to be kept in mind. Keeping it professional is the best way to go about things.
Components of a Resignation Letter
- Try and make it a Two Week’s notice. If that is not possible, mail your superior as soon as possible.
- Be clear in the subject line, mentioning ‘Resignation’.
- Share the date you plan to leave.
- You do not need to give details as to why you are leaving. You can, however, give a short explanation.
- Express Gratitude. Tell them you are thankful for having worked with them.
- Provide contact details and offer assistance for the future.
There are many other letters that are circulated among professional workspaces. While many of us spent our childhood in school writing formal emails, much of what is taught and what is practised in the professional world differs.
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Written By:- Amber Keshari, Shubhr Aakriti
Edited By:- Sparsh Goel