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Part: 6 In Your Write Mind > Business Writing: Write Angles - Pg. 253

253 Chapter 25. Business Writing: Write Angles In This Chapter · Design effective business letters · Create winning resumés and cover letters · Send business thank you letters · Deliver good news and bad news in writing Today, there's stiff competition for positions, and people who can communicate often win out over those who can't. Many companies don't advertise at all, preferring to do their recruiting through formal and informal networking. The stock market is a wild roller coaster--and people are edgy. Knowing how to write a powerful resumé and cover letter can help you get the job you want. If you've already got a job, these tools--along with the ability to write effective business letters and memos --can help you get where you want to be. Those are the skills you learn in this chapter. Letter Perfect Successful business writers know that an effective document reads well and looks good. Here are my top 10 ways to make your documents look as professional as they read: 1. Use white space (the empty space on a page) to separate and emphasize key points within a letter. Provide sufficient white space around paragraphs, too. Figure 1 inch to 1 1 /2 inches on all sides. To help readers locate key elements, use indented lists, bullets, or numbers--just like this book does! Use headers (words or phrases that group points) to lead the reader through the document. To get maximum impact, put key elements such as return addresses and company contact information in the top-left and lower-right quadrants of the page. Go easy on the bells and whistles such as highlighting, decorative devices, fonts, and color. Decide whether to justify the right margin (line up the type), based on the situation and audi- ence. Justified margins let you add about 20 percent more text on the page. However, use them only with proportional type to avoid distracting, wide spaces between words. For all important business writing, such as letters of application and resumés, use good quality, heavy, white bond paper and matching envelopes. Tradition-ally, local printers typeset letter- head, but a good-quality laser printer and software package can create fine letterhead as well. When possible, limit your letters and resumés to one page. Consider your audience's needs and expectations. Show that you understand the purpose for the business communication and the context in which it is read. Use conventional formats, explained in the following section and shown in Appendix A. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.