How to Address a Letter to Impress: 7 Simple Steps to Be a Letter-writing Pro

by Kate Williams

In the world of email, online applications and job finding apps, business writing traditions such as how to address a letter have become lost. This simple but obsolete skill could pop up in your job search when you mail thank-you notes or a cover letter to a potential employer.

How to Address a Letter Envelope

1. Include Your Contact Information

If you have address labels with your contact information, place one in the upper left corner of the envelope. If you don’t, you can print your own address labels or simply print the information neatly with a black pen.

How to address an envelope

2. Print the Recipient’s Information

The recipient’s name should be first. Print the full name on top line of the address block. It should be centered in the middle of the envelope, a few lines below your address.

Title. If you know the person’s title, it goes on the next line. If you don’t know the person’s title, write the name of the department they work for.

Company name. The name of the company or organization where the person works is on the next line. This is a crucial part of how to address a letter envelope.

Mailing address. The company’s mailing address should be placed in a single line. The mailing address can be different than the physical address, so make sure you have the address where mail is sent. Call the company to get the information.

Now let’s look at how to address a letter.

How to Address a Letter

Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you master the art of business correspondence and make you look like a total professional. This works for cover letters, resignation letters and business letters.

3. Put Your Contact Info at the Top

You want a recipient to quickly figure out who you are, and how to respond you. See an example of a letter here. You want to start with your address. You’ll close the letter with your name.

123 Any Street
City, ST 12345

4. Include the Date

Skip a line and put down the date you intend to send the letter.

Month XX, 2020

5. Write the Recipient’s Address 

Next comes the person’s full name with prefix i.e. Mr. Mrs. Miss, Ms. Then their address from the envelope. Here is what a letter should look like.

how to address a letter
cut and paste template

6. Add a Salutation or Greeting

Whether you are searching for a job or contacting a business for information, formal greetings are essential for electronic and paper correspondence. The trouble is, there are many greetings to choose from and only a few that convey professionalism.

Try to keep the greeting of the letter as simple as possible. Do not use the informal Hey. This is not a text, it is a business letter. Do not use To Whom It May Concern, yuck. The best salutation for a letter is Dear.

This greeting may seem too formal and old-fashioned, but it is appropriate for a resignation letter, CV or letter of interest. Include the prefix and the person’s whole name. What do you do if you don’t know who you are writing to? Check out this article.

7. Don’t Forget the Colon

When writing a greeting, use colon at the end of it. Some people think that comma works better, but a colon is more formal.

Addressing a letter correctly tells the person reading it, at least subliminally, that you have business knowledge. With a well-formatted envelope and a error-free greeting, you can address to impress.

Details like formatting a letter correctly can make or break your job search. You can use this format for all of your letters, not just on job applications. Good luck and go old-school.

You may also like