How to write a letter to a boss for personal requests

Updated March 23, 2017

If you have a personal request for your boss, you may wish to write him a letter. Employees have many types of personal requests including asking for references, letters of recommendations, time off and sponsorships. When writing a letter to your boss, be respectful and professional and write it in a way that does not come across as a demand. Keep the letter short, no longer than one page.

Plan your letter. Prior to writing the letter, prepare what you want to convey through the letter and determine its importance. View the issue from your boss's perspective and how you think he might respond to the request.

Address the letter. Begin by writing "Dear" followed by your boss's professional name and title. It is OK to use her first name if this is what you normally call her. Date the letter as well, at the top of the letter.

Introduce yourself. In the first paragraph of the letter, describe who you are. State your name, your job position and the length of time you have worked for the company. Include details about any major accomplishments or achievements you have received during the time you have worked there if they are pertinent to the request.

State the purpose of the letter clearly to avoid any misunderstandings. Describe the request that you have and the reason for your request. If it is something that you cannot describe in detail due to it being a sensitive issue, explain that at this point you cannot repeat all of the details. Let him know though, that it is extremely important to you.

Restate the request. After describing the request, ask respectfully and directly if he would be willing to agree to it. Again, use clear sentences requiring the boss to respond to the request.

Make him an offer. If you are requesting time off, suggest what you are willing to do to assist the company in this request. Offer to check your voice mail daily and respond to necessary phone calls.

Include your contact information. Use the last paragraph to state how she can contact you to discuss this matter and thank her for considering your request.

Sign the letter. Write "Sincerely" and sign your name.

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About the Author

Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.