How To Write A Formal Letter Page 3


Skip a line between the address and the date. You do not have to write the address if the
letter is printed on paper with the company letterhead already on it.
Contrary to Czech usage, the name of the place is not given with the date. The date is
written either with the full name of the month (30 August 2012/30th August 2012) or with
slashes (30/08/12), not with dots as in Czech. Skip a line between the date and the address
of the recipient.
Address of the recipient
The address of the recipient includes his/her full name and title(s).
Professor John A. Smith BSc(Eng) MSc PhD
Head of Department of Electrical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
The University of Nottingham
34 University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD
United Kingdom
If you are not sure whom the letter should be addressed to, use a job title, e.g. Director of
Human Resources, Personnel Manager, Admissions Officer. The names of institutions/
companies/agencies and posts held are capitalized.
The abbreviation Ms /miz/ is now commonly used with women´s names (instead of Mrs and
Miss). Use abbreviations for Mr/Ms/Dr but spell out Professor.
Skip a line between the address of the recipient and the salutation.
If you know the name of the recipient: Dear Ms/Mr/Dr + the last name:
Dear Dr Smith, Dear Ms Brown,
Dear Professor Stubbs,
NOT: Dear Mr Professor White
If you know the position of the recipient but not the name: Dear Admissions Officer,
Dear Personnel Manager,
If you know neither the name nor the position: Dear Sir,
Dear Madam,
Dear Sir or Madam, Dear Sir/Madam,
Dear Sirs or Madams, Dear Sirs/Madams,
To Whom It May Concern
Skip a line between the salutation and the subject line or body.
Subject line (optional)
The subject line helps the recipient to quickly find out what the letter is about.
Application for the position/post of ………….. as advertised in (name of paper/journal) on
(date)/as advertised on your website
Application for an entry-level position in ……………..


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