Request letter writing tips

Request letters are important letters. They have the power to change your life for the better. For this reason, you should take your time to write a good request letter. Keep the following points in mind as you compose the letter.

1. Let the focus be on the recipient

Your request letter should not be self-centered. Instead, put the focus on the recipient. If you believe that the recipient will receive some benefits by complying with your request, don't hesitate to mention that in the letter.

2. Introduce yourself

If you are writing to someone you haven't spoken with in a long time, you must introduce yourself. Clearly state how the reader knows you. For example, if you are writing to your former employer, state the name of the position you held at the company and the years you worked for them. You must also mention the high points of your association. For example, the things you accomplished while you were working for them.

3. Be straightforward

After introducing yourself, state the purpose of your writing. Be straightforward and avoid irrelevant details. Let your reader know exactly what it is that you are requesting.

When making your request, don't forget to include all relevant information. For example, if you are writing to request a recommendation letter, it would be a good idea to enclose your latest resume. It will give the reader useful information they might need to draft the letter of recommendation. If there is a deadline, don't forget to specify it.

4. Be courteous

Don't forget that by making a request, you are infringing on another person's time, talents or other resources. So be as courteous as possible. Moreover, give the reader enough time to meet your request. If they don't have to rush through your request, they are more likely to respond.

Make only reasonable requests and use a persuasive language in your letter. Don't apologize for making the request. Instead, make the request appear as a compliment. You might have had several professors but you chose this particular person for writing a recommendation letter for you. That is clearly an indication that his/her recommendation has greater weightage than somebody else's.

5. Don't threaten

Realize that the reader has the right to decide whether they want to comply with your request or not. You cannot force them. You should not try to do that either.

6. Contact information

Don't forget to include your contact information in the letter.

Before closing the letter, thank the person for considering your request.

Don't forget to send a sincere thank-you letter within one week of the person's fulfilling your request.

Sections in this article

What is an email
Subject line
Formats, grammar and spelling
Addresses and personal names
Courtesy and politeness
Privacy concerns

See Also
Letter writing: Formal and informal
Resume writing

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