Most company notepaper is headed. However, if you are writing on unheaded paper, put your address (but not your name) in the top right-hand corner. The address of the company you are writing to should appear on the left so that it can be seen through an envelope with a window. If you are writing to a specific individual in the company, his/her name and position goes above the address.
Dates can cause some confusion. 2/ 3/ 2009 means ‘the second of March’ in English letters, but ‘February third’ in American ones. Confusion can be avoided by writing dates as follows: 2 March (or March 2 in the USA) 2009. The names of the months should not be abbreviated in formal letters.
When you receive a business letter, there is usually a reference number at the top following the words Our ref. This is designed to help the sender to file related correspondence, and you should quote this reference when you reply.
If you do not know the name of the person you are writing to, or you are not sure if you are writing to a man or woman, you should begin Dear Sir or Madam (Gentlemen: in the USA) and end Yours faithfully (Yours truly in the USA). If you know the person’s surname, begin (for example) Dear Mrs Jones and end Yours sincerely. If the person is more of a friend, begin (for example) Dear Peter, and end Best wishes. In opening and closing salutations and in addresses, it is common not to use full stops and commas.
Refer to men as Mr. Refer to women as Ms, unless in previous correspondence from them they have indicated that they use the title Mrs (for married women) or Miss (for unmarried women). Women will often indicate their preferred title by writing it in brackets after their signature, for example: Catherine Honey (Mrs). Most correspondents will assume you are a man unless told otherwise, so if you sign a letter H. Jones, most people will reply beginning Dear Mr Jones.
When you sign your name, it is common practice to type it out as well and to put your position in the company below it. If someone in a company signs a letter on behalf of someone else, the initials p.p. (per pro) should be used before the name to indicate this.
If something is being sent with a letter, Enc. or Encl. (enclosure) should appear in the bottom left-hand corner of the page. State your message clearly, concisely, and politely.
In a job application, explain clearly which job you are applying for and, if you are responding to an advertisement, say where you saw it and when. Give all the necessary information about yourself, including age, qualifications, past employment, relevant experience and any special hobbies or interests, and explain why you are particularly interested in this post. Use a new paragraph for each main topic. It’s also helpful to say when you would be available to attend an interview.
In other applications (for a grant, a scholarship, etc.) explain clearly what you are applying for, where you heard about it and, if appropriate, who you represent. Give all the necessary information about your application, explaining how you intend to use the opportunity / money, what you hope to achieve, and why this is important.
12.3. Read the application letter and find:
1. where the job was advertised
2. what the writer is doing now
3. future plans
4. a reference to past work experience
5. details about the writer’s personality
6. a reference to further communication
1) I am writing in response to your advertisement in yesterday’s Student News. I would be grateful if you would consider my application for the vacancy in your London office.
2) I am a sixteen-year-old high school student and am very interested in this position. When I leave school, I plan to study business administration and this would be a perfect opportunity for me to gain some experience.
3) Although I have no formal work experience, I have often helped out in the family business, where I have been responsible for duties such as filing and taking telephone messages.
4) As far as my personality is concerned, I would describe myself as industrious and motivated. I am a sociable person and I enjoy working with others as part of a team. I also believe that I am capable of working alone and able to use my own initiative.
5) If you wish me to attend an interview, I am available at any time. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to hearing from you.
12.4. Put the sentences in the application letter in the correct order (1-10) and decide where to divide it into paragraphs.Dear Ms Atkinson,1) Besides having a sound academic knowledge of these languages, I worked for three months in Grenoble when I left school.2) With regard to my availability for work, my first year exams will have finished by the end of June.3) Finally, as I will be in Manchester for the week 27th April – 1st May it would be convenient for me to attend an interview during this time.4) As regards my ability to speak Italian, I have had an Italian pen-friend since I was fourteen and have spent two summers with her and her family in Milan.5) I saw your advertisement in today’s Guardian newspaper and would like to apply for a job as a representative in Europe this summer.6) I look forward to hearing from you.7) I am currently taking the first year of a European Studies degree course at Bath University.8) Therefore, I would be free to work for your organization from the beginning of July until mid September, as required.9) As you will see from my curriculum vitae (enclosed), I obtained good ‘A’ level grades in both French and Italian.10) This course includes French language and literature as well as Italian conversation classes so I am keeping up my languages. Yours sincerely, Tricia Adamson
12.5. Read the covering letter and fill in the gaps.
d) ABC Company, Ltd
Liverpool, England, BZ244
___(2)___: CV OF JOHN JONES
I read with interest your advertisement for engineering positions at the ABC Company. Your company is one of the leaders in biochemistry, and I am interested in being employed by a company with your background.
Enclosed is a copy of my resume that details my academic qualifications and practical experience gained through the cooperative education program. As you can see from my ___(3)___, I have a firm foundation in both biochemistry and sales.
Thank you for taking your time to review my CV. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my education, practical skills, and background would qualify me to be a member of the ABC Company.
Please contact me at 287 99 23 or email@example.com to set up a time for an ___(4)____. I look forward to hearing from you.
12.6. Read the CV of John Jones and answer the questions.
1. How old is John?
2. What academic degrees does he have?
3. Is John single?
4. Will he be able to work as the ABC representative in Russia? Why / Why not?