Whether they are sent by the postal service or by email, business letters always follow a specific format and style. Following the format gets to the point quickly and tells your reader about additional related documents you have included such as a resume, a signed contract or copies of paid invoices. Detailing attachments in the body of your letter and noting them at the bottom of your letter is a professional way of helping the recipient understand why you are writing and what additional materials you sent.
Tell the Reader Why You Are Writing
A well-written business letter begins with a single sentence explaining why you are writing. Tell the recipient what and how many documents you are attaching and why you are including them. You should begin with phrases such as “I am enclosing my resume for the position of assistant manager,” or “Attached is a copy of the letter I received confirming my recent payment.”
Avoid Being Too Formal
Your business letter writing should not include the much more formal phrase “Please find enclosed …” While it’s not grammatically incorrect, that type of formal written language is used mostly in academic journals, official documents and places where an increased level of seriousness is required. As a general rule, avoid overly formal language in your everyday business correspondence and emails.
List the Attachments or Enclosures Below Your Signature
At the bottom of the letter after the signature line is the proper place to list attachments. If you are sending email, double space after the signature and then cite the attachments with a brief notation such as “Attachment: Resume for Jane K. Doe.” If you are sending a letter through the postal service you would add a notation briefly describing the enclosures two lines under the signature. You can write out the word “enclosure” (Example: “Enclosure: Monthly Market Summary”) or use the common business abbreviation “enc.” (“Enc: Resume for John K. Doe)
Additional Tips for Business Email
How to Name Attachments: Formatting is critical when sending a business email. The file name of the attachment should be related to your email. Include your name, a short description of the subject and the date of the email. If there is more than one page to your attachment, indicate that as well.
Attach Photos Efficiently: If you are sending photos, make sure you crop your photos to show only what is relevant and in a small-or- medium-size that will download quickly on your recipient’s computer or device.
Make Sure to Include Everything: Before you seal the envelope or press the send button, make sure that your enclosures are in the envelope or that you have attached your documents to your email. Many recruiters and other businesses may discard letters that do not include the requested attachments. It also gives the impression the sender is careless.
Frances is a business writer with over 15 years experience writing about media, technology, retail and related issues for a variety of national and international publications including The New York Times, The Week, USA Today, The Independent, and Lonely Planet News. Follow her on Twitter at @francesk