Why hand-written CV could fall flat
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Q: “There’s a lot of talk at the moment about how technology is changing how people go for jobs. I am a bit of a traditionalist myself and I am wondering if a neatly written CV could do the trick when applying? It might help me stand out from the crowd. What do you think?” – BG, email.
A: So, there’s a question you won’t hear every day, writes Liam Horan, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers Ballinrobe.
The obvious answer is ‘no’. And, when you think about it a little more, it is probably still ‘no.’ However; I think it might be a good exercise to tease out why you might dispatch a hand-written CV.
Sundry reasons why it might be a good idea:
- Yes, it will get you noticed and make you memorable – for the right reasons.
- It is intensely personal and could convey a sense of trust to some recipients.
- Some people like to get handwritten correspondence in an era of drastic email overload.
- If you have good handwriting, it might be impressive – and that’s from someone whose handwriting has deteriorated to an indecipherable scrawl.
- What they see is what they get – they know you didn’t deploy the spellchecker to make things right.
- It shows you have taken time to prepare your application – handwriting is no rush job.
- Saves you having to buy a computer – hmmm. There are free computers in libraries all over the country. And, besides, friends would surely allow you to use theirs for such an important job.
And, the other side:
- It could get you noticed and make you memorable – for the wrong reasons.
- It could make you look like a flat-earther who has failed to acknowledge, or, worse, notice, the technological revolution. Are you unable to adapt and change?
- They could question your motivation to get the job.
- What they see is what they get – there’s no spellchecker to make things wrong, as it can sometimes do. So all errors are entirely your own work.
On the whole, no.
I am all for candidates distinguishing themselves a little, but I feel you are hoping for a lot from an employer here. I would take the time to create a digital CV and cover letter – and I know that belongs to the realm of ‘you would say that, wouldn’t you’ – but, genuinely, I would lay down the pen and go digital.
However, it’s your call at the end of the day.