|Decide how formal your letter needs to be. How you write the letter will depend on your relationship with the recipient. Consider these guidelines:
- If you're writing to a government official, prospective employer, dignitary, academic official or anyone else with whom you hope to have a professional relationship, the letter should be formal.
- If you're writing to your current employer, a co-worker you don't see socially, a distant or elderly relative, or someone you don't know very well, the letter should probably be semi formal.
- Decide whether you'll send a handwritten letter or an email. The way you choose to send your letter also indicates a degree of formality.
- Most formal letters should be typed and sent through the post. The exception is if your letter is extremely time-sensitive, or if you know the recipient prefers email.
- For informal letters, an email or handwritten letter is acceptable.
- For a semi formal letter, you'll have to make the call. If the other person has chosen to communicate with you primarily through email, then email is probably a safe way. If you're not sure, go with the handwritten letter.