Business Correspondence Checklist for Pinoys

Types of business correspondence include letters (block, modified block, and simplified), memos, e-mail messages, envelopes, reports and résumés. Every working-class Filipino dreaming of making it here and abroad should master the professional way of doing business correspondence, which will be acceptable to both local and foreign readers and recipients.

Here are some points to consider in making a correspondence to-do checklist for an effective business communication:

For résumés

  • Must have these three characteristics so it won’t bore potential employers: skill-based, organized, compact
  • Use active verbs in job descriptions (e.g. organized, managed, performed)

For envelopes

  • Sender’s name and address should be capitalized per first letter per word
  • Recipient’s name and address should be in all caps
  • Use no punctuation

For letters, memos and e-mail messages

  • Know your audience well for the right approach
  • Check the essentials (spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalization)
  • Be cautious with all caps usage as it makes text appear angry and yelling
  • Use the right message tone to avoid misinterpretation
  • Create the perfect e-mail subject line for readers to know its importance
  • Never send spam e-mails, and send a letter/memo more than once only upon the request of the recipient (if he/she fails to receive it the first time)
  • Be clear and concise with short but meaningful sentences), proofread and edit at least twice before printing
  • Apply reader-based approach on memos (second person – you, your, yours)
  • Use bullets or numbered format to easily show key points
  • Avoid run-on sentences
  • Stick to basic font like Times New Roman font 12 for letters and memos
  • Don’t be redundant with adjectives and verbs
  • No misplacing of modifiers for a clearer message
  • Own opinions are welcome, except for letters and memos
  • No exaggeration, discrimination, and complicated jargon and expressions that will confuse readers

For reports

  • Must always be concise (no long introductions and phrases, as well as unnecessary words) and factual
  • A typical business report should contain (in exact order): Terms of Reference (details on why report was made), Procedure (steps and methods done), Findings, Conclusions (opinions based on findings), and Recommendations (necessary actions to take)
  • It is best to use present simple tense in stating facts, past tense for completed actions and references
  • Provide sentence inputs in the Recommendations section in imperative form
  • Use charts and graphs in presenting financial/statistical data
  • Active voice should be applied instead of passive
  • Avoid using ‘considering’ and ‘having’ as first words in most sentences

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