Monthly Archives: March 2014

Formal Letters for Business and University, Part 2

Continuing on from last week, where we learned about the addresses and dates on our letter, we’ll take a look at the start and end of our letter.

The salutation is the “hello” of the letter. There are several common choices, depending on how well you know the recipient.

If you don’t know their name, use “Dear Sir or Madam,” or “To whom it may concern,” to start your letter. If you have spoken to them on the phone, sent emails, or have met them once or twice, use “Dear Mr. Familyname,” or “Dear Ms. Familyname.” If you know them well, or see them often, “Dear Firstname” is acceptable.

The closure comes at the end of the letter. There is some personal choice here, but “Yours truly,” and “Sincerely” are always correct. In casual situations, you could use “Thanks,” or “Cheers,” if you know the recipient really well. Leave two blank lines, so you have room to sign your name, and then print your name with a period at the end, like this:

Sincerely,

Dave Henderson.

Formal Letters for Business and University, Part 1

Today’s tips are about letter-writing. Details count!

Your address is placed at the top of the letter, on the right side. You do not put your name, email, or phone number as part of this section.

The first line contains your apartment/office/suite number, the building number, and the street name. In the second line, write your city and province. The last line is for your postal code, which is written in capital letters and is separated by a hyphen. Here’s an example of the top of a business letter.

 115, 221B Baker St.,

Vancouver, B.C.,

V2W-9Y5

May 12, 2011

Recipient’s Name

Recipient’s Job

Company Name

Suite, Building, Street

City, Province

Postal code

Country (if it’s not the same as yours)

Dear Jane,

Name that text!

You’ll find that some people have very strict requirements for the layout of papers. Perhaps this is for a university essay, or maybe a contract for your work, but the details count. Here are some examples of common layout instructions.

This sentence is justified left.

This sentence is justified centre.

This sentence is justified right.

This paragraph is written with box justification, which changes the size of the space between the words. It’s very hard to read quickly, and should be avoided. This paragraph is written with box justification, which changes the size of the space between the words. It’s very hard to read quickly, and should be avoided. This paragraph is written with box justification, which changes the size of the space between the words. It’s very hard to read quickly, and should be avoided. This paragraph is written with box justification, which changes the size of the space between the words. It’s very hard to read quickly, and should be avoided. This paragraph is written with box justification, which changes the size of the space between the words. It’s very hard to read quickly, and should be avoided. This paragraph is written with box justification, which changes the size of the space between the words. It’s very hard to read quickly, and should be avoided.

These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines. These are single-spaced lines.

These lines are double-spaced. This style is quite common in schools and universities, because

it leaves space for editors or markers to add comments. These lines are double-spaced. This

style is quite common in schools and universities, because it leaves space for editors or markers

to add comments. These lines are double-spaced. This style is quite common in schools and

universities, because it leaves space for editors or markers to add comments. These lines are

double-spaced. This style is quite common in schools and universities, because it leaves space

for editors or markers to add comments. These lines are double-spaced. This style is quite

common in schools and universities, because it leaves space for editors or markers to add

comments.

This text is bold. Bold text is often used for headings.

 This text is underlined. Underlined text is also used for headings, but not as often as bold text.

This text is in italics. Italics are sometimes used for quotations or foreign word, but the most common use is to emphasize a word or phrase.

Bartending Certification

Serving it Right is a BC Government training course for serving alcohol. It’s not a legal requirement, but high-profile businesses, like hotels, casinos, restaurants, and bars will want their employees to have it.

The material is free, but the test costs $40. You can take the test online or on paper. All the details are on their website. If you’re in my classes, come and see me. I have a few books left over from when we offered training for this certification in the past.

You can learn about other helpful certifications in my Power Up Your Internship paper. Just follow this link to the free download.

Indian Candy

Perhaps you know that salmon is a popular kind of fish in Vancouver. Maybe you even know that the most traditional style is called smoked salmon. But do you know about Indian Candy?

Indian Candy is a type of smoked salmon. It is different from regular smoked salmon, because it is softer, and has a sweeter taste. To make it, the cooks use brown sugar or maple syrup when they smoke it.

You can find Indian Candy at The Salmon Shop on Granville Island. Here’s a map. Buy some and enjoy a new Canadian taste!

Marketing Networking

Recently, I’ve had some questions about networking and volunteering in Vancouver. A friend of mine told me about a marketing event that looks really interesting. It’s called ProductCamp, and will be held next Saturday, March 8th, at the Beedie School of Business at SFU. The address is 500 Granville Street, and admission is free. You can read about the plans, register, or volunteer at their website: productcampvancouver.org.

Go Volunteer is a job-search website for volunteers. There’s a great variety of positions available, each with different time commitments, areas of specialty, and locations. I just saw ads for a bartender at a salsa dance, a hospital communications specialist, a cook, social service providers, and seniors’ care helpers. Many of the advertisements offered discounts or benefits for their volunteers, and most offer letters of recommendation or references too.

There’s one for just Burnaby-based jobs at volunteerburnaby.ca

No volunteering post would be complete without my favourite causes:
Bike racing at the Burnaby Velodrome – they need volunteers for the night of March 21st
Technology and environmental work at Free Geek Vancouver

Remember to put your Canadian volunteer experience on your resumé, too. Use it to show that you are familiar with local people, customers, and business culture. Good luck and happy volunteering!