How To Format a Letter or Email With an Attachment

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 6, 2022 | Published January 13, 2021

Updated July 6, 2022

Published January 13, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Over the course of your career, you may need to write both emails and hard copy letters to clients, colleagues, superiors or even potential employers. When you compose professional letters, it's important to use appropriate formatting and notations. If you include any documents with your correspondence, you'll also need to learn how to mention your attachments correctly.

In this article, we discuss how to indicate an attachment in an email and hard copy letter and we provide examples to use as a reference.

Why it's important to use a specific format with attachments

When you correspond with others in a professional context, you may need to send more than a standard letter. In some cases, you may need to include additional documents, such as a resume or a graph, along with the letter. These additional documents fall into one of two categories:

  • Attachments: These are materials that are part of the letter, such as a graph that illustrates your findings.

  • Enclosures: These are documents that are independent of the letter, such as your resume.

In addition to adding these documents to your letter, you should always cite their inclusion and briefly state their purpose and length. By following this formatting best practice, you alert the recipient to additional materials and ensure that they notice them. You also make sure that the recipient understands the contents and their length, thereby setting appropriate expectations.

Although this practice originally started with traditional letters, it also applies to electronic correspondence. That means you should abide by these letter formatting guidelines whether you mail a physical letter or send an email to a professional contact. When you send an email, all files you include are considered attachments, so you could use this term even for documents you would normally call enclosures.

Related: How To Format a Proper Business Letter (With Examples)

How to format a professional email with an attachment

Here are five steps to help you write an email with attachments:

1. Begin with a blank email

First, log in to your email account. Begin composing a blank message.

2. Follow simple formatting rules

Start the email with a greeting, such as “Dear Ms. Jones,” followed by a comma. Leave a blank line, and then type the body of your message. Like a business letter, you should end a professional email with a closing line like “Sincerely.” Then, type your name and title on subsequent lines.

3. Mention the attachments

In your email, reference the attached documents. For example, you could write, “As my attached resume shows, I have been in my current position for five years."

4. Note the attachments

Under your name and title, type “Attachment:” to draw the reader's attention to the additional items. For example, you might note “Resume” if you're applying for a job.

5. Add the attachments

Before sending the email, confirm that you've added the documents you specified.

Related: How To Write a Professional Email

How to format a hard copy letter with an attachment

Here are six steps to help you format a hard copy business letter with an attachment:

1. Begin with a blank letter

First, open your word processing program of choice. Begin with a blank document or use a business letter format to craft your correspondence.

2. Apply basic formatting rules

Next, use basic business letter formatting guidelines to structure the document. At the top of the page, type your full name and address. Then, skip one line and type today's date. Skip another line, and type the recipient's full name and address. Leave the next line blank, and then type a greeting, such as “Dear Dr. Smith,” followed by a comma.

After skipping another line, write the body of the letter. Use standard paragraph formatting to make the letter as easy as possible to read and understand. Leave another blank line at the end of the body of the letter. Then, end it with a closing line, such as “Sincerely.” Leave two blank lines and type your full name and your professional title.

3. Mention the additional materials

In the letter, mention the additional documents briefly to draw the recipient's attention to the attachment. For example, you might state, “As my enclosed CV shows, I have 10 years of professional experience in this field.”

4. Note the attachments

Under your name and title, type “Enclosure:” or “Attachment:” to indicate that you've included additional documents. On the next line, provide a brief description of the contents. In a typical letter with an attachment, you might state “Curriculum Vitae,” for example. If your letter includes multiple attachments, note each one on its own line. If you do have multiple, you could say "Enclosures:" or "Attachments:" to make the terms plural.

5. Print and sign the letter

Next, print the letter and sign it in the signature area between the closing and your name and title.

6. Add the materials

Finally, add in the materials and prepare the package for mailing. Place the letter on top of any attachments. Before sealing and sending your package, check to confirm that you've enclosed all of the additional materials.

Related: Business Letter Format and Example

Examples of letter formatting with attachments

By reading through a sample letter and an example email with attachments, you can see exactly how to set up your professional correspondence. Take a look at these examples to help guide your own writing:

Example 1: Professional email with attachments

Dear Mr. James,
As requested, our production team has prepared graphics for Edison Firm to use in marketing your new product line. You will find the 10 product images attached to this email. Please contact me with any questions or edit requests.

Thank you,
Hannah Lee
Digital Producer, Tiger Marketing
Attachments: 10 Product Images

Example 2: Business letter with enclosures

Hannah Lee
Tiger Marketing
123 Elm Street
New York, NY 10123

January 2, 2021
Henry James
Edison Firm
321 Maple Avenue
New York, NY 10132

Dear Mr. James,
Our team has finished analyzing Edison Firm's marketing campaign performance from the previous period. Overall, the campaigns performed better than expected, and we recommend increasing the marketing budget for future months. We are pleased to share the full results in the enclosed report.

Hannah Lee
Digital Analyst, Tiger Marketing
Winter Marketing Campaign Report

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