There are many reasons why you might need to write a formal letter to your boss. For example, you might actually be writing your letter of resignation or your company might require written requests for absences like vacation time or medical leaves. No matter what your reason, there are specific rules you should follow when writing a formal letter to your boss or any superior in your company. A properly written letter will help ensure that no one gets offended and your letter is received in the spirit it was intended.
Include your contact information in the upper right corner of the formal letter. Include your name, phone number and extension and email address, as well as the company address, at the top of the letter. This will let your boss know who you are and whether or not you work in the same building immediately after opening the formal letter.
Add your boss’s contact information to the letter on the left side, one line below your where you put your address in your contact information. This ensures that the letter doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.
Date the letter a line below your boss's contact information on the right side of the page. Adding the date lets your boss know when the letter was written and gives a good time frame for a response.
Write a professional, courteous salutation and use your boss’s name, such as “Dear Mr. Jones," with a comma after it.
Start your letter by identifying yourself if your boss manages many people and might not know you by name. Include your department and what your role is in the company. In the first paragraph, explain in one or two sentences what the purpose of the formal letter is.
Explain in more detail the purpose of your formal letter in the body. When writing to your boss, maintain the correct tone. If you are making a suggestion about the company, for example, present it as a suggestion and not a demand. Your wording should always be in the form of a request, such as “Would it be possible to change the vacation scheduling to accommodate more people?” or “Could we arrange a time to discuss my job responsibilities and salary?” A question comes across in a way that is less likely to agitate, annoy or anger your boss.
Add a professional closing at the end, such as “Sincerely” or “Best Regards.” Several lines under this, type your name. Sign your name between the closing and the typed name once you print the letter.
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images