Even though today more and more of us write only using a keyboard, sometimes it is necessary to write a letter by hand, and therefore handwritten. It is obviously much more personal, and it shows the one who receives it a certain effort from you. But how to properly write a handwritten letter? Should we worry about our quality of writing? I’m trying to answer any questions you might ask yourself.
Plan de l'article
Why write a handwritten letter?
Most of the time, we write a handwritten letter… because we have no choice. For administration, a bank, a telephone operator, if one does not have a computer and a printer at home.
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We are also obliged to take the pen, when asked. This is sometimes the case for entering a school or for a job, the cover letter often needs to be written by hand. Indeed, human resources departments can use graphology methods to analyze your writing and then discover some traits of your personality.
Yet one should not try to change his writing, graphology professionals immediately notice it, and then you will pass for someone who wants to hide his personality, who does not trust him, or even who is looking to lie. Not great for a first contact… When writing a handwritten letter, apply yourself, but don’t try to change your writing.
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If you have a choice, handwriting remains to be preferred for cover letters, provided you have a beautiful, perfectly readable writing. This demonstrates a form of rigour, since it is obviously more difficult to write a handwritten letter, rather than typing it on the computer. You should not make a mistake under pain of having to rewrite everything. We show that you are perfectly proficient in your language and that we are very precise. On the other hand, if your writing is not pleasant to decipher, it is better to resort to typing.
It will obviously depend on the context and the recipient of the letter. We’re not going to do the same layout for a cover letter, to find a job, and for a love letter for the woman or man of our dreams. So I’m going to talk to you about the basic rules, which can apply to most of your correspondence.
First of all, we will choose a quality paper. It should not be too thin, so as not to crumple or tear too easily. It is obviously a blank sheet, which has no margin and not the slightest line. The A4 format is usually preferred for professional or administrative correspondence. An A5 format can be used for more private mail, such as congratulations on a marriage or baptism, or condolences following a death.
The letter header
Even if you know the person who is going to receive the letter, always remember to indicate your name, first name and address in the top left corner of the sheet, 2 cm from the top and left edges. At 6 cm from the top edge and 11 cm from the left edge, you write the name of the recipient, and the date of the mail 2cm below. Sometimes it is necessary to enter also the address of the recipient.
We then return to the left, always 2 cm from the edge, to note the object of the letter. Between 12 cm and 14 cm from the top edge of the sheet.
The body of the letter
Begins with a call for a letter type “Sir” or “Madam Director”, which is shifted 5 or 6 cm from the left edge. The rest of the text will be 2 cm from the left edge, and at each new paragraph, we start at the same level as the appeal.
You should never write “Mr DUPONT”, it is incorrect, so we stand by the title “Mr. Minister”, “Doctor”, or simply “Sir”. When you write to a loved one, you can obviously start differently, either simply by the first name, or why not with “My dear Martin”, for example.
You should not write too big, but not too small either. The text should be well ventilated, you should not make a big block, but rather a succession of small paragraphs, which will make your letter more pleasant to read.
Finally, it is obviously customary to greet your correspondent for even a term to the mail. The politeness formula will be different depending on the recipient of the letter. Of course, you will be more familiar with a friend or family member than with a tax officer. Finally, we sign our mail, 2 cm below the last paragraph, between the middle and right edge of the sheet.
A few tips
You have to write in a French as perfect as possible. Take the time to write each word, because a rature is not possible, or even a retouching to the corrector. You can’t go back like on your computer or smartphone. If you are not perfectly familiar with French, feel free to have your letter read by a loved one, more comfortable with grammar and spelling.
Of course, no abbreviation is tolerated, you do not write an SMS but a handwritten letter. So we write each of the words completely.
Finally, to maintain maximum credibility, we remain sober on the choice of paper, envelope or even stamp, for a professional letter or for the administration. More follies can be afford for a handwritten letter to a family member, a friend or for the loved one. For the last one, perfume is a good idea, but we still avoid hearts instead of points on the “i”.