Jan 17 2010
Even though I still read real books and mark my events on a paper calendar, I tend to view sending and receiving a real paper letter as a somewhat antiquated practice. I have nearly all of my monthly services (cable, electricity, phone) sending my bills to my email account rather than wasting paper and my friends and relatives either call or email as well. On the rare occasion that I get a letter that’s not junk mail, it’s usually a legal matter or a letter from the government, both of which aren’t generally something I greet happily.
So it’s no wonder that my letter-writing skills are pathetic. Sure, I send thank-you notes out every year after Christmas and my birthday, but I think the last time I wrote a real letter was over a decade ago. If forced (at gunpoint) to write a letter today, I’d have no idea where to start. Do I put the date in the upper-left or upper-right? Do I put my own address before or after the recipient’s address? And aside from the structural rules to which I’m oblivious, there’s the matter of the content itself. What does one put into a condolence letter? What goes into a cover letter? I know I was taught these things at some point, but I haven’t got a clue now.
Niceletter is a great starting point when you need to write a letter the right way. It’s a simple, straight-forward site that takes the guesswork out of formatting a letter. Users can also browse a number of helpful letter templates to get them going in the right direction in regards to content. Niceletter not only has templates in English, but also in French, Spanish, and Italian and there is no sign-up process; simply go to the site and begin creating your letter.
A user starts off by either selecting the letter generator (an all-purpose letter template) or by selecting a sample letter template. The template is laid out in form fields that the user simply fills in with the correct information like names, addresses, and content. In the case of the sample letter templates, the user edits content that has already been provided in order to customize the letter for their needs. Once the letter is complete, the user chooses to generate the letter as a Microsoft Word-compatible rich-text format or as a PDF, and that’s it. The generated letters can be copied into an email or printed out. The whole process is very quick and easy.
While browsing through the templates, I came across many that would be useful to young adults trying to make a good impression. There are several thank-you letters for sending after a job interview, a letter of recommendation template, and even a formal letter of apology in case things go wrong. The resume/job application cover letter templates cover a wide variety of career fields: electrician, hotel management, fashion designer, and IT, to name just a few. The tone of the letters are appropriate for each field and are written for graduate students and seasoned professionals alike.
Additionally, there are a few letter templates that come pre-addressed to celebrities and important figures such as Queen Elizabeth II, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Gordon Brown. If you’re feeling truly whimsical, there is even a letter to Santa Claus and one very humorous letter template directed at a particularly popular actor right now, Robert Pattinson, famous for playing a vampire in the Twilight films.
With the tough job market out there, it pays for applicants to put their best foot forward. Anything that can give a qualified job candidate an edge over other equally-qualified applicants is highly valuable. You don’t want to give a tired human resources worker a reason to throw your resume away and sometimes the difference between ending up in the “maybe” pile and the “no” pile can be as trivial as having a nice, formatted cover letter to go with your resume.
A service like Niceletter can help you stand out as well-mannered, capable, and professional and it’s completely free to use. Niceletter is already a great resource for young professionals and hopefully we’ll see the website continue to grow.