4 Formal Business Letter Samples

Formal business letters aren’t nearly as common as they used to be. Email has largely replaced them, but there are still situations where knowing how to write a proper business letter is important. Letters of recommendation, follow-up letters, job acceptance and rejection letters, appreciation and resignation letters, cover letters, and interview thank you letters are all good examples. In this article, you’ll find examples of simple business letters for a number of these categories.

General Guidance

Formal business letters should be succinct and matter of fact. They aren’t used for general correspondence, and shouldn’t be familiar. 

Your intro paragraph shouldn’t dwell on pleasantries. Instead, it should get right to the point. You might start with a sentence like, “I’m writing today in reference to…” and then briefly establish the reason for your letter. 

You should also carefully conform to commonly accepted formatting standards. These determine the order of common letter elements, their arrangement, and the information included. The examples of simple business letters that follow will demonstrate these rules in action. 


Letter of Recommendation

Recommendation letters are still fairly common. An email can suffice, but a formal business letter makes a bolder statement and demonstrates that you fully support the candidate you’re endorsing. Here’s an example you can build from.

John Jefferson 

1234 Somewhere St. 

Anywhere, MD 12345




August 19, 2020 

Leslie Hunt 

Director of Operations

Corporation, Inc.

321 Blastoff Rd.

Placetown, MO 56789


Dear Ms. Hunt, 

I’m writing today in reference to a position you’re looking to fill. Steven Jones recently applied to be your new office manager and asked if I would speak to his professionalism and his abilities. 

I worked closely with Steven for eight years. I was his manager when he worked at ABC Company and I have only praise for his efforts. He was a dedicated employee that worked tirelessly to keep costs down while creating an open and collaborative work environment. 

He was equally proficient in his accounting responsibilities and his HR commitments, and his coworkers valued his input and regularly sought it. In the years I worked with him, he saved the company significant amounts of money on a consistent basis. I would recommend him without reservation for any company looking for their office to run smoothly and efficiently. 

I hope you found this helpful. Good luck finding the right candidate! 


Signature (hard copy letter)

John Jefferson



Resignation Letter

Printed business letters are still the right choice when resigning from a position. They’re properly respectful and give your employer a tangible document to include in your employee folder. Try using this example the next time you’re moving on to new prospects.

Shawna Smith 

111 Street Rd.

Locationville, NY 13531




August 19, 2020 


Robert Duncan

Director of Human Resources

Important Business, Inc.

2222 Parkway Dr.

Heresburg, NV 53135


Dear Mr. Duncan,

I am writing to announce my resignation from Important Business Inc., effective two weeks from the date of this letter. 

Please understand I have mixed emotions regarding this decision. My time with the company has been a wonderful experience. I’ve learned a lot and met a number of people that will stay in my life for years to come. However, I’ve recently found a position that’s a better fit for where I am in my life right now. 

I very much appreciate everything you and the company have done for me. The opportunities I’ve found here have helped shape the trajectory of my career. I wish nothing but good things for the company going forward. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to aid this transition. Thanks again! 


Signature (hard copy letter) 

Shawna Smith 


Interview Thank You Letter

Sending a formal thank you letter after an interview is an excellent way to put your name back at the top of your interviewer’s mind. Using a formal business letter in lieu of an email demonstrates professionalism and shows that you’re serious about the position. Here’s some sample language.

Ernie Barnes 

321 Contact Ln.

Cityville, MN 23432




August 19, 2020


Hugh Langston

Director of Production

Digital Agency

911 Emergency Rd.

Countrytown, MN 23434


Dear Mr. Langston,

Thank you for your time this afternoon. I enjoyed meeting with you and talking about the production position you’re trying to fill. I think your approach to the department structure is visionary and I agree that it should create unprecedented efficiencies. I’d love to play a role if you’ll have me. 

As I said in my interview, I think I’m an ideal candidate for the position. I’ve been working actively in the industry for over 15 years, guiding projects for notable clients such as Gaggle, Orange Computer, Nile, Specific Electric, and more. I’ve spearheaded campaigns that touch the full range of digital media, achieving stellar results. 

I’m excited to discuss this opportunity with you in greater detail. Please don’t hesitate to arrange a follow-up interview at your leisure. 

Thank you, 

Signature (hard copy letter) 

Ernie Barnes 



Job Inquiry Letter

When you’re interested in working for a company but they don’t have any positions advertised you can use a job inquiry letter to open the door. They may not have anything open at the moment, but they may keep you in mind for the future.


Susan Winters

234 Asphalt Rd.

Somewhere, PA 12345




August 19, 2020


Sara Manning

General Manager

Acme Marketing

1122 Three Lane Rd.

Pebble, CO 54321


Dear Ms. Manning

I appreciate you taking the time to review my resume. My wife and I are looking to relocate to be closer to my wife’s family so I’m currently in the market for a position in the Pebble area. 

I’ve read wonderful things about your company on Glassdoor and would love the opportunity to work with you. I’d be interested in any openings you have in your accounting or HR departments. I have over ten years of experience in both domains and feel I could bring a lot of value to your organization. 

Please reach out if you have any questions. I’m happy to discuss my qualifications and my past work history in more detail. My phone number and email address are at the top of this letter. 

Thank you again for considering my resume. I’m excited to speak with you sometime. 


Signature (hard copy letter) 

Susan Winters 




Don’t Have Time to Write a Letter? Let Simply Noted Do it For You

You could type up a letter, but sending something handwritten is so much more special. It shows you are attentive to small details and appreciate making a statement. Let Simply Noted’s automated handwriting machines craft your letters for you when you don’t have the time.

Our machines use real ballpoint pens for a peerless final product that feels as authentic as if you’d written it yourself. We’ll produce your letters and mail them with a handwritten address on the envelope. It’s simply the best way to send automated handwritten letters. 


Rick Elmore  Athlete  Corporate Sales  Entrepreneur