Contact Information: The first section of your letter should include your contact information and the contact information of the person you are writing, too. Also, include the date you are writing at the top of your letter. Letter Salutation: Unless you know the reader well and typically address them by their first name, you should include the person's personal title and full name in the salutation (i.e., "Dear Mr. James Franklin"). If you are unsure of the reader's name, include his or her title (i.e., "Dear Executive of Marketing"). If you are unsure of the reader's gender, simply state their full name and avoid the personal title (i.e., "Dear Jamie Smith"). If you are unsure of the reader's gender, name, and title, simply write, "To Whom It May Concern." Leave one line blank after the salutation.
Application letters and cover letters. 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 letter of application is a sales letter in which you market your skills, abilities, and knowledge. A cover letter, on the other hand, is primarily a document of transmittal. It identifies an item being sent, the person to whom it is being sent, and the reason for its being sent, and provides a permanent record of the transmittal for both the writer and the reader.