Cover Letter Reference Initials On A Memo

By Judy Vorfeld

Have you ever won­dered if there’s a “best” way to write a busi­ness let­ter, in terms of lay­out? Let’s look the full block style for some guidelines.

Before we begin, let me say that there are many ways to put together a busi­ness let­ter. While you want it to look good, it’s equally impor­tant that you pro­vide all rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion in a way that’s easy to understand.

You may even go with lit­tle head­ings, or bul­lets, or num­bers. Whatever works for the reader’s convenience.

Generally one inch on all sides, at a min­i­mum. If you have a very brief let­ter, you’ll prob­a­bly want to have at least 1.5 inches on the left and right.

Do you have let­ter­head? If so, make sure your left and right page mar­gins are close to the same width as the let­ter­head. If you don’t have let­ter­head, type your busi­ness name, address, and other infor­ma­tion (phone, fax, e-mail, URL, etc.) start­ing at least an inch from the top, and cen­ter it. You might make your busi­ness name larger than the rest of the let­ter­head, and pos­si­bly in a dif­fer­ent font, and bold. Play around with it.

You might use a thin line to divide your cre­ated let­ter­head from the body of the let­ter. If you don’t want or need a for­mal let­ter­head, then right align­ing your address and the date usu­ally looks good. The remain­der of your let­ter will be writ­ten from the left margin.

See above if you have no let­ter­head. Otherwise, press Enter at least twice from where the let­ter­head print­ing would end, then type in the date in the left mar­gin. Type the month, day, and year (January 14, 2002).


If you use the word “CONFIDENTIAL,” press Enter twice after typ­ing in the date, and type CONFIDENTIAL. Otherwise move on to the Inside Address.

Press Enter 2 – 4 times, then type the name and full address of the per­son or company.

Press Enter twice, then your salu­ta­tion (like “Dear Mr. Hodgson”) fol­lowed by a colon. If your let­ter has an impor­tant sub­ject line, ref­er­enc­ing a legal sit­u­a­tion or a spe­cific num­ber or code, you may choose to use this instead of the salu­ta­tion. Or you can use both. If you use the Subject line, type it in all cap­i­tal let­ters on the third line below the Inside Address.

Press Enter twice, then type the body of your mes­sage. Press Enter twice between para­graphs, and do not indent the first line of paragraphs.

Use a phrase like “Sincerely,” or “Very truly yours” fol­lowed by a comma, then press Enter about four times. If you want to be infor­mal, use some­thing like, “See you Monday!” and since it’s a com­plete sen­tence, don’t fol­low it with a comma. Hit the “enter” key 4 – 6 times.

Type your name here, with your title below it, if appropriate.


Since the per­son dic­tat­ing or writ­ing already has his/her name directly above, use the typist’s ini­tials alone two lines below the com­pany sig­na­ture. It’s eas­i­est. If you are com­pos­ing and typ­ing the let­ter, omit ref­er­ence ini­tials. When using the typist’s ini­tials, use either upper or lower case (mrd or MRD) and when using both the writer’s and typist’s ini­tials (mrd/jhv or MRD/JHV), fol­low the same for­mat. Your choice.

Press Enter twice. Sometimes peo­ple use the area below the sig­na­ture to indi­cate the com­puter file­name. Completely optional.

Press Enter once (or twice, if you don’t use File Name Notation). Type in the word “Enclosure” or “Encl.“if you enclose any­thing. You might spec­ify the num­ber of enclo­sures and what they are, e.g.,
Enclosures — 2 Check #2343 dated May 13, 2001 for $5,000.00
     Certificate of Award


Press Enter once. In this area, indi­cate if you are send­ing it any way other than reg­u­lar mail. Example, “By Federal Express,” or “By Facsimile.” (Note: when pos­si­ble, insert the FedEx air­bill num­ber and the fax num­ber. Anything that may save time later!)

Press Enter once, then type “cc:” You write in the names of those who will receive copies, e.g.,
cc: Ms. Jane Doe, Veterans Administration

     Mr. John Doe, American Legion

ALLNOTATIONS are single-spaced and grouped at the bot­tom of the letter.


If you have a very short let­ter, you can increase your mar­gins and your font, and/or use a dif­fer­ent line spac­ing (e.g., 1.25 or 1.5). Verdana’s a good font if you’re try­ing to fill up space, since it’s wider and taller (or is that “higher”?) than most fonts. If you want a nice serif font that’s a bit larger than the default, try Georgia. Both were cre­ated for use on the Internet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them in your office.

Print out a copy of your let­ter and look at it as a whole. Then go back to your com­puter and make any adjust­ments needed. You want a good pre­sen­ta­tion. And don’t hes­i­tate to use a footer if you use more than one page.

On January 14, 2012   /   Business Documents, Typography   /   Leave a comment



 Identification Initials, Enclosure Notations and CC Notations, Those Obscure Elements of a Business Letter

By Alya Leuca Business letters are still a big part of contemporary business life. Writing and formatting them is habitual for almost any business person. Except, maybe, when it comes to some elements of a business letter which are not used as often as the others. Proper way of inserting identification initials, enclosure notations and CC

notation is often a roadblock for letter writers. It shouldn’t be anymore, though. So, let’s see how it is done.

 Identification Initials

Identification initials in a business letter come immediately after the signature and are used when some assistant, secretary or other employee prepares a letter for his or her boss. In the old days the abbreviation 'p.p.' was used for this purpose. It stands for 'per pro' and means 'by one acting as an agent'. Nowadays the companies usually use a simplified version of including identification initials in a letter which allows them to avoid using the 'p.p.' abbreviation. The person who prepared the letter for the boss first includes three of the b

oss’s initials in uppercase characters and then two of his or

hers in all lowercase characters. Below are three possible ways of formatting identification initials: Yours sincerely, Howard Lindham, Director HKL:mr Yours sincerely, Howard Lindham, Director HKL/mr Yours sincerely, Howard Lindham, Director HKLindham/mr

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