Business Letter Templates
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The following is an abridged excerpt from a chapter I have included in a couple of my writing toolkit: Instant Business Letter Kit http://InstantBusinessLetterKit.com
If you ever draft letters, or any other documents where brevity is important, you'll want to pay close attention to these little practical "tricks of the trade" that I divulge below.
Anyone who has read any of my articles on the subject of letter writing or resume writing will know how important I believe it is to minimize the number of pages, preferably limiting them to one page wherever possible.
And we all know how tacky it looks when we put the finishing touches on a letter and it overflows onto the second page by one or two lines. Very unprofessional!
So, there are a number of handy little tricks that I've used over the years that will help "squeeze" a letter or other document onto one page without it being noticed by the average reader. These tricks can be applied using any standard word processing software program.
I'm not sure whether a purist at a secretarial school would approve of some of my methods since they may deviate from certain technical standards, but I have used them hundreds of times and nobody has ever been the wiser. The main point being that I was able to keep a letter on one page when the first version overflowed by a few lines onto a second page.
Below are my "page compression tips", listed in the order in which I suggest you apply them:
What happens if it still won't fit?
Now, if you've used all of the above tricks and you still can't get the letter to fit onto one page, it's time to admit that you've got a real two-pager. In which case, you should then think about "reversing" some of the compression tricks that you applied when you tried to "squeeze" the letter, and then concentrate on making a balanced looking second page.
There's nothing worse looking than a letter with a one or two sentence second page! So in this case, you may want to actually "stretch" the letter out a bit.
Often, at this stage I actually increase the line spacing and reduce the margins slightly so that there will be a decent sized overflow onto the second page.
For example, try reversing steps 1, 2 and 4 above. So instead of decreasing the top, bottom and side margins on page one, try increasing them by 1/4 in. all around. Then increase the point size and see if that helps. Ideally, try to get the page to break cleanly at a paragraph break, for a nice tidy page-to-page transition.
Again, I have used these little "compression" tricks thousands of times, and nobody has ever pulled out their ruler and chastised me for inaccuracy.
The important thing is to end up with a professional "looking" letter.
In fact, if you do a very detailed check of the real-life templates included in any one of my Writing Toolkits you would find that I have used one or more of the above tricks on many of them. But, I'm not telling which ones!