HomeTopicalHow to Write a Formal Letter: A Must-Have Guide

How to Write a Formal Letter: A Must-Have Guide

In this article, we will be taking a look at how to write a formal letter for professional purposes.

Letter writing was an important part of our syllabus in secondary school. Emphasis was laid on it to impart to students the necessary writing skills that will be of use in different professions.

How to write a formal letter

As the world has transformed into the digital age, applications on social media have changed the way we interact and communicate, which is now different from before.

Nowadays, letters have transformed into emails, but they still retain the old form of composition.

In this article, we will dissect how to write a formal letter and the types of formal letters. These letters can come in handy in different professions.

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Definition of a Formal Letter

A formal letter is a letter written using formal language and written for official purposes. They are written to authorities in the workplace, influential people, colleagues, our supervisors at work, and so on.

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How to Write a Formal Letter

Want to know how to write a formal letter? Here is all you need to make your formal letter look good and presentable.

Address of the sender

When you want to write a formal letter, it is very important to put the address of the sender there. This is because you don’t want to cause confusion as to where the letter is coming from. The sender’s address is the first thing that will come up in the letter.


The letter’s date must also be indicated there for better understanding.

Address of where you are sending it to

The address of where the letter is supposed to go must also be clearly stated for purpose of clarity.


Still on how to write a formal letter, salutation is one of the most important parts of a formal letter, you have to address the person you are sending it to properly, so as not to sound disrespectful.

The subject of the letter

This part is also very important and includes a strong subject line to pass the letter’s message. This will prepare the receiver for what to expect when they get to the letter properly.

Body of the letter

When you get into the body of your formal letter, make sure it is precise and concise. You don’t want to confuse the reader about what message you are trying to pass with the letter. Make sure it tackles the points you are trying to make.

Closing line

When you end a formal letter, make sure you include a complimentary closing line in it. The closing line should include something like best wishes, yours truly, with regards, and so on.

Name and signature of the sender

Do not forget to include the signature and name of the sender. The inclusion of this will take away any uncertainty in the letter.

Description of the Sender

For the final part of a formal letter, the description and alias of the sender should be included in the letter. This is an integral part of the format of a formal letter.


Types of Formal Letters

Since we have gone through the elements of a formal letter, it is only right for us to discuss the types of formal letters that are out there.

Letter to the H.O.D

As a student, you might need to write a letter to your head of department for different reasons. It might be to request sick leave, request for a particular result, or permission to use the department’s facility to hold an event. Here is the format to write to your H.O.D.

  • The H.O.D
  • Name of your department
  • Address
  • Date
  • Salutation: Sir/Ma
  • Subject: mention your reason for writing the letter
  • Body of the letter
  • Concluding line: Yours faithfully/sincerely
  • Name of sender
  • Your level and matric number

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Resignation Letter

A resignation letter is a formal letter written by an employee to the management of his/her working place. It is written when the employee wants to quit the job for different reasons known to them. Here is a guide to writing a formal letter.

  • Name of the sender
  • Address
  • Date
  • To,
  • Name of the receiver
  • Description
  • Name of company
  • Address
  • Subject
  • Body of the letter
  • Closing line
  • Name & signature

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Promotion Letter

This type of formal letter is for companies that are promoting new upgrades and innovations. In other words, they might be trying to promote a new branch, new programs, a new showroom, and so on. You must include the following if you want to write a promotional letter.

  • Use clear and specific language
  • Try not to use slang or jargon
  • If possible, avoid the use of acronyms
  • The use of punctuation and spelling must be used well
  • Talk about what you are promoting in detail

Related: Letter of Permission To Be Absent from Work

How to Write a Formal Letter: Difference between a formal and informal letter

  • A formal letter is written professionally and formally, while an informal letter can be written casually.
  • A formal letter can be sent for official reasons, unlike an informal one written for personal reasons.
  • It is mandatory to follow the format of a formal letter. An informal letter does not have a particular format for it.
  • A formal letter is an official letter from a person or company, while an informal letter is not official.
  • A formal letter has to be precise and direct, but an informal letter gives room to express yourself.


It is important to learn how to write formal letters since we can’t escape their necessity. This article has outlined the critical steps to follow in writing an excellent formal letter.

Feel free to refer to this writing process carefully in case you missed anything.