How to Write a Professional Letter: Tips and Examples

Starting a professional letter can be challenging and your salutation is one of the most important parts. It sets the tone of the letter and can affect the recipient’s opinion of you.

How do you choose the right professional letter greeting? What are professional salutations? What should you consider as informal salutations?

Throughout this guide, we’ll show you 10 professional letter greetings and give you several examples of business letters to get you started. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to write your best letter yet! 

What’s the Best Way to Start a Letter

To answer the question simply: it depends on the recipient. Here’s some questions to ask yourself when writing your professional greeting.

  • How well do you know the recipient, if at all?
  • Do you know the recipient’s name and job title?
  • Do you know the recipient’s gender to correctly address them by? If you don’t know their gender, it’s okay to use their first and last name. 
  • What’s the recipient’s address? It’s important to know the recipient’s address if you’re sending your letter by direct mail
  • Are you writing to a single recipient or a group of people? If you’re writing to a group, avoid using ‘all’ in your salutation and gender-specific greetings like, ‘ladies and gentlemen’. 

Once you’ve answered the questions above, it’s time to consider the purpose of your letter. Here’s some additional questions to guide your writing.

  • What do you want to say to the recipient? Do you have a specific goal in mind? 
  • What kind of letter are you writing? Is it a formal letter or an informal letter? A recommendation letter? Determining the type of letter you’re writing will help you determine the goal.
  • If your goal is to get hired, how are you going to address the hiring manager? If you don’t know their name, writinghiring manager” is okay. 

Show off your writing skills by addressing these questions before you write. This way, you’ll have a clear path of where you want your letter to go (and it should go without being said, don’t phrase things like they’re a farewell letter for an employee).

10 Professional Letter Greetings

What are 10 ways to open a card? How do you know which salutation to use? Here’s a list of 10 professional letter greetings we put together for your convenience. 

  1. Dear (first name),
  2. Dear (first name) (last name),
  3. Hi (first name),
  4. Dear (last name),
  5. Hello (first name), 
  6. Dear hiring manager,
  7. Dear (department/team recruiter),
  8. Hi everyone,
  9. Dear (company recruiter), 
  10. To whom it may concern, use this as a last resort

coupon code in handwritten birthday card

Which Salutation Should You Use?

Now that you know some salutations, it’s time to decide whether you’re writing an informal letter or a professional letter. Your relationship with the recipient and the purpose of your letter should help guide you.

Once decided, you’ll need a proper salutation! Here’s some insight into which of the above salutations you should choose from.

  • For formal letters, you’ll want to use something more professional than ‘Hi (first name)’. 
  • The best greeting for a formal letter is ‘Dear (first name) (last name)’. It shows respect, politeness, and demonstrates professionalism. 
  • With ‘Dear’, you can include the recipient’s title if you know it. If you don’t know their first and last name, their job title is appropriate to use. Using ‘Dear Sir’ is a bit outdated, but still an available option. 

When you’re starting your professional letter, it’s always important to include a letter salutation because this is the first thing your recipient will read. Keep it simple but formal. Try to address your contact person by name or job title, and keep in mind that there are a lot of different ways you can close the card out.

Note: People pay attention to how you address them. Therefore, how you begin your professional letter may affect their opinion of you. So, make sure you use the appropriate salutation

3 Example Professional Letters to Steal

Now that you’ve got salutations down, you’re ready to start writing!

We’ve put together a list of 3 professional letter examples for you to steal. 

Example #1

Dear Mr. Smith,

Thank you for signing up to (business name)’s loyalty program. It’s customers like you that keep our small businesses going. Please enjoy this 20% off code 20OFF with your next purchase.

Kind Regards, 

John Doe, CEO of (business name)

Example #2

Hello Sarah,

It was great speaking with you over the phone on Thursday. I hope we can work together to find you and your family the perfect home. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns moving forward.


Jane Doe

Sunny Real Estate

Example #3

Hi Lily,

Happiest of birthdays! We hope you can use this code BDAY and enjoy a customized cupcake, on us. We look forward to baking you a special birthday treat! 


Jane Doe

The Cupcake Co. 

With the help of these samples, we hope you’ll be able to write the best professional letter possible.

Didn’t find quite what you’re looking for? You can find tons of online resources if you’re struggling to write your letter. Handwrytten has many example letters for you to choose from, including a car sales thank you cards and more!

Send Professional Greetings With Handwrytten!

Nowadays, almost everything is electronic. Sending a handwritten card or note stands out and catches the reader’s attention. 

Handwrytten allows you to customize your professional letters with ease from our online application. Our robotic handwriting machines even have multiple handwriting styles to choose from.

Looking to send cards regularly? We have subscription plans available just for you! These are great for businesses who are planning to send a lot of notes. We also have prepaid options, bulk discounts, and you can cancel at any time. 

Spruce up your professional letters with Handwrytten! Check us out and start writing your professional letters today!

Choose from our cards design or your own.

Over 100 designs to choose from or design your own. Our online card customizer makes it simple.

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