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Many people believe that application letters and cover letters are essentially the same.For purposes of this handout, though, these kinds of letters are different.
The first version is a weaker statement, emphasizing facts not directly relevant to its point.
The second version provides the information in a simple and direct manner.
A style between these two extremes is appropriate for the majority of memos, emails, and letters.
Writing that is too formal can alienate readers, and an attempt to be overly casual may come across as insincere or unprofessional.
The passive voice allows you to gloss over an unflattering point—but you should use it sparingly. Take care, however, that your document does not turn out as an endless series of short, choppy sentences.
Keep in mind also that “concise” does not have to mean “blunt”—you still need to think about your tone and the audience for whom you are writing.
Though business writing has become less formal over time, you should still take great care that your letter’s content is clear and that you have proofread it carefully.
Personal pronouns (like I, we, and you) are important in letters and memos.
This handout will help you write business letters required in many different situations, from applying for a job to requesting or delivering information.
While the examples that are discussed specifically are the application letter and cover letter, this handout also highlights strategies for effective business writing in general.