Professional business writing is a important part of life. Whether you write business letters, papers, or email, making the right impression is paramount. The easiest part of the letter, which some might find the most difficult, is selecting the right salutation. Mr., Mrs., Sir, Madam–it all seems so confusing. Here are some tips on how to correctly add a salutation to your business letter.
- If you don’t know who you are writing to, use Dear Sir or Madam. It is also acceptable to use “To Whom it May Concern,” which covers both sexes and stays formal.
- If you know the person but it’s a formal relationship, use the correct prefix. Glean the appropriate information to determine whether it is a Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms., or Dr.
- If you know the person, it’s appropriate to use the first name only, for example, Dear Dave. If you wish, you may use the surname also, but this can show too much formality. Use just the first name whenever possible.
- If you know the name of the person you are writing, but don’t know them on a personal level, or wish to keep the letter strictly professional, use the first name and last name followed by a semicolon.