2 min

Handwritten cover letter, a good idea to stand out?

Image de présentation de l'article Handwritten cover letter, a good idea to stand out?

At a time when everything is becoming digital, one might wonder if the handwritten cover letter would not allow you to stand out to land an interview. Companies would notice, thanks to this, your high motivation and interest in this position. However, think again ! A handwritten cover letter can penalize your application. Here's why...

Don't know how to write your cover letter? Don't panic ! Discover the golden rules for writing a good cover letter! 


It is less readable

Even if you think you have beautiful handwriting, a recruiter might not agree. Difficulties in writing straight, maintaining regularity or not making deletions can also compromise the readability of your letter. This will then discourage a recruiter from reading it in its entirety because their time is limited.

Using word processing software avoids all of these drawbacks. 

Indeed, a typed letter will be more legible, will give an impression of cleanliness and may make you think that you are not an overlooked candidate.

It is longer

One of the golden rules of a cover letter is that it should be able to fit on a single page. However, handwriting takes up much more space than a text on a computer. You are then forced to break the single-page rule or abandon certain information that could have worked in your favor.

In the first case, it will give the impression that you are having a hard time complying with the rules, and in the second case, your arguments may not be enough to convince the recruiter.

It suggests that you have no computer skills

A handwritten cover letter sends a clear message: you don't know how to use word processing software.

However, in the digital age, it is a basic skill that is essential for anyone looking for a job. The ability to communicate remotely, and therefore via IT tools, is one of the 5 most sought-after skills by companies.

The typed letter will therefore allow you to demonstrate your computer skills, which will make you a more interesting candidate for a recruiter.

You'll waste time

Writing a cover letter by hand is an extremely time-consuming exercise. At the slightest mistake, you will be forced to start from the beginning. However, you won't have time to continually restart your letter until it's perfect. Indeed, during this time, dozens or even hundreds of people are also applying for the same job ! So you need to be quick in sending your application so that someone else doesn't steal the job you wanted.

With word processing software, this problem does not exist.

It may end up in the trash

A paper application takes up space on a desk, gets lost easily , and can land in a trash can by accident. When it is computerized, on the other hand, the recruiter will be able to store it on his computer without cluttering his workspace and the risk of losing it will therefore be lower. 

Fewer possibilities

Writing a cover letter with word processing software gives you access to a whole range of digital resources. For example, it is possible to insert a photo, hypertext links to invite the recruiter to learn more about you, to access already made models if you do not have a creative soul,... With a handwritten letter, You won't have all of these opportunities, which could, ultimately, prevent you from standing out. 

Another disadvantage is that you won't be able to send a handwritten letter by email, and sending it by post will greatly slow down your application. You're probably thinking that it's still possible to scan it... Yes, but it's a bad idea ! The quality and readability of the document will deteriorate, giving the impression of neglect.

So what ? Are we forgetting this idea ?

Yes ! While this is well-intentioned, the handwritten cover letter will make life difficult for both you and the recruiter. The only time you need to do one is when it's explicitly requested in the ad. Otherwise, opt for the letter typed on the computer. You will avoid being portrayed as outdated.

However, whether it's handwritten or typed, don't forget that the most important thing is the content !

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