When you consider how much technology there is out there these days, from texting to emoticons to Facetime, it’s no surprise the art of letter-writing has gone the way of the horse and buggy. However, formal letters are still necessary for some specific circles and circumstances. From applying for jobs to colleges to communicating with those few who still take formality seriously in this brave new world. Below are some helpful instructions on what is required when writing a formal letter, so that both formality and professionalism can be maintained, from the moment the person receives and reads it.

1. The Paper

The first thing to take into account when writing a formal letter is the paper the letter is written upon itself. That’s what initially separates a formal letter from a standard letter more than anything else: the feel and thickness of the paper. Plain white computer paper can theoretically be acceptable, but true formality and care can be conveyed with paper that is a thicker stock and has a uniquely off-white color and subtle pattern. Sure this will cost more to purchase, but it will go a long way when making a first impression to the reader of the formal letter itself.

The Paper