There are several "how to" articles on the internet concerning facsimile cover letters. Many of these articles have confused transmitting a cover letter via a fax machine and a true facsimile cover letter. A fax cover letter is a special type of business correspondence and should always be used when sending a fax.
When to Use a Fax Cover Letter
Most companies have a standard fax cover letter for their employees to use. If the sender's company has such a letter then that should be used. At some office supply stores there are sticky notes that can be used as a facsimile cover letter. These are usually considered appropriate for informal correspondence, but can be used with formal correspondence if they are centered on a blank page. Alternatively, there are templates online that can help create a professional fax cover letter in MS Word or MS Works.
If the sender must create his or her own template for the cover letter, it's best to print out the information on company letterhead. If there is no letterhead available or if the letterhead isn't fax-friendly, then the sender's company's name should be centered at the top of the cover letter. Below the company's name, the words "Facsimile Cover Letter" should be written in large clear font. Some companies will find the words "Fax Cover Letter" acceptable.
What Order to Send Your Fax
The cover letter is the first page sent through the fax machine. The font of the cover letter and the rest of the correspondence needs to be clear enough and large enough to compensate for the degraded quality of the print out. Older fax machines do not print with the same quality as printers or copiers.
What Info to Include
The next section contains the contact information for the sender and the recipient. Some companies list this information side by side. Other companies will list the sender's information first or the recipient's information first. All of these are acceptable as long as the needed information is present.
There needs to be a "to" line, "from" line, the phone number of the sender's fax machine, contact information of the sender, the date the fax was sent, a "cc" line, a space for any additional notes, and the "total number of pages". The total number of pages is critically important when sending a fax. This note is the only way the recipient knows that they received all of the fax. It should be noted if the total number of pages includes the cover letter or not. At the bottom of a proper cover letter there should be space for the name, title and signature of the sender as well as initials of the sender and the typist.
Fax Cover Letter Sample
[centered] Company Name [centered]
[centered] Facsimile Cover Sheet [centered]
From: Joe Manager
Fax number: (555) 757-1234
Phone number: (555) 757-1235
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To: Jane Salesperson
CC: Mr. Rowe, Ms. Fellows
RE: Quarterly Sales Report
Number of pages (including cover sheet): 5
Notes: Time sensitive information. Please respond as soon as possible.
Joe Manager, Manager of OEM Sales
Note: The format of a facsimile cover letter widely varies. There is no one definitive or authoritative source for this format. The guideline provided here is an amalgamation of a variety of sources. The sender should tailor this information to match his company's guidelines.