How to Write a Request Letter (With Tips and Examples)

Updated March 6, 2023

A professional letter is an effective way to communicate work-related information to upper management or a colleague. As an employee, you can write a request letter for various reasons, including an endorsement, contract change, assistance, or permission. Understanding how to write a request letter, including the tone and format to use, can help improve your likelihood of getting a favourable response. In this article, we discuss the steps to write a request letter, offer tips for crafting an effective request letter, and provide samples to help you write your own.

How to write a request letter

Here is how to write a request letter in 7 steps:

1. Collect information relating to your request

Start by gathering the information to include in your request letter. For example, you need to know the recipient's name and professional title to address them appropriately. Research the information you need so that you can present a detailed letter that encourages the recipient to grant your request or respond thoughtfully.

Related: How To Write a Promotion Request Letter (With Samples)

2. Create an outline

Next, prepare an outline that explains what each paragraph in your request letter would contain. An outline is a well-structured document that highlights the key points you want to communicate to a reader. Having an outline helps you organize your thoughts as you write. For example, an outline can help you group related details of your request instead of having them in different paragraphs.

3. Introduce yourself

In the opening paragraph, introduce yourself to the recipient. Doing this helps to establish an early connection and encourages them to continue reading. If you've previously interacted with the letter's recipient, the first paragraph is also a good place to remind them of your professional relationship. For example, you may start by saying, "I'm the co-founder of Alberta Charity Fund, an organization you donated generously to last year."

Read more: How To Start a Letter, With Tips and Examples

4. Make your request

Next, summarize the specific purpose for writing the letter. Use simple words when stating your request to make it clear and easy for the reader to understand your purpose. Keep this part of your letter succinct.

5. Explain the reason for the request

Describe what you hope to achieve if the recipient grants your request. For example, if you're writing a training request letter, you can explain how taking part in a training program would help improve your skill set. Use this paragraph to also explain the request's importance. As an example, engaging in a training program may help you address the gap in your professional skills compared to others at your company.

6. Offer to provide additional information

In the next paragraph, offer to provide more details that may help the recipient make a decision. As an example, suppose you applied for a scholarship that requires an endorsement letter from your manager. In that case, you may need to provide links to the scholarship's website and information about the organizers. Also, explain any time constraints you have. For example, if you're requesting to meet someone before a certain date, emphasize why you'd appreciate a timely response.

7. Show your gratitude and conclude the letter

Finally, express your appreciation to the recipient for reviewing and considering your request. You can use an expression such as, "Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you." End with a professional closing, such as "Sincerely" or "Regards."


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Tips for writing a request letter

While email request letters are common, you may also submit a physical copy. Consider these tips when writing a letter to make a request:

Use a professional format

Choose a readable and simple font, such as Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Georgia, or Helvetica. Consider using one-inch margins and a 12-point font size. Use a professional heading that contains your contact information and the date. If you're submitting an email attachment, use a clear subject line, such as "Letter of Request for Endorsement." Also, ensure you write a professional greeting, such as "Dear [recipient name]" when starting the letter.

Read more: How To Write a Letter: Format and Example

Be polite and professional

Ensure you use a suitable tone that aligns with the purpose of the letter and its recipient. A letter's tone refers to the feelings it leaves on the reader. For example, if you're writing a letter to request a contract change, ensure you maintain a formal tone throughout. Alternatively, if you're writing to request participation as a team or group, use a more cooperative tone.

Be clear and direct

Always state your request clearly to avoid misconceptions. Apply effective communication by clarifying any industry jargon when appropriate. For example, if you're requesting a job transfer, simplify the industry terms that influenced your decision. Consider using an active voice to present engaging content. Active voice uses the subject at the beginning of a sentence, then the verb, followed by the object that receives the verb.

Review your request letter

Finally, proofread the final draft of your request letter for grammar and spelling errors. You may need to rewrite certain sections to make the letter more effective. Consider reading the request letter aloud to catch mistakes. You may also give it to a friend, colleague, career coach, or mentor to review before submission.

Related: Writing a Business Letter: Format and Example

Samples request letter

Go through these examples to learn how to draft a request letter:

Example 1: Training request letter

Dear Ms. Palmer,

As part of my efforts to bring more value to the marketing department, I would like to pursue additional training to develop my skill set. Over the last quarter, I noticed our department seems to have a gap in generating leads for the company's products. I'm requesting that the company cover part of my training cost to enable me to learn how to attract leads and transfer them to the sales department successfully.

I researched three training programs that can help me learn more about lead generation. From my research, Consultants For You's lead generation training offers the best value. This training program costs $1,600 for a two-week workshop that focuses on digital marketing strategies.

I'm committed to continuing my position while undergoing this training and do not see it affecting my work schedule. I look forward to receiving positive feedback about this request or alternative training programs. Thank you for reviewing this letter.

James Daniel

Example 2: Business request letter

Yvonne Doe
47 Jacobstill St.
Hamilton, ON D8M 3L6

May 5, 2021

Cynthia Hagroove
Pet Food and More
7432 Marvel Rd.
Toronto, ON W3M 2N6

Dear Ms. Cynthia,
My name is Yvonne Doe, and I'm the manager at Petty Shelters, the animal shelter you visited last month. I'm writing to ask whether your pet supply store would like to donate to our animal shelter.

As you know, summer is one of the busiest periods for animal rescue. Our mission is to keep these animals off the streets and provide everything they need at our shelter. We currently have an extensive network of volunteers who help us care for animals and would appreciate additional resources such as financial sponsorship, food, or other pet supplies.

We hope your business can support ours financially and would love to create a long-term partnership between the two organizations. We would also be happy to recognize you as a sponsor if this opportunity interests you. Kindly reach me on my phone at 555-454-3434 during regular business hours or email me at for more information.

Yvonne Doe

Example 3: Promotion request letter (email)

Subject: Regional Sales Manager Position

Dear Ms. Treblay,

My name is Janice Chan, and I'd like to make a formal request to be considered for the open position of regional sales manager.

As the current sales manager in the company's Canadian branch, I have anticipated such an opportunity and feel I'm ready for this exciting challenge. I'm confident my career experience prepares me for a promotion. In the past quarter, I boosted the company's sales in my allocated sector by 14% and trained the company's recent addition to the sales department. I'm grateful for the support of my teammates in achieving these goals and look forward to reaching similar goals as the regional sales manager.

I understand the role of regional sales manager would require a new skill set, and I believe I have the qualities to succeed. For example, last fall, I performed the duties of the sales manager at the headquarters after he took a leave of absence while continuing to handle my responsibilities. I also have five years of work experience here, and I'm passionate about seeing the company achieve all sales and marketing goals.

I'd be happy to recommend a sales supervisor to take my position and ensure a smooth transition if promoted. Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to hearing about the next screening steps and providing additional information about my work experience or qualifications.

Janice Chan
Sales Manager

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