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. 

Liam Horan, BALLINROBE Tel: 094 95 42965

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:

  1. Yes, it will get you noticed and make you memorable – for the right reasons.
  2. It is intensely personal and could convey a sense of trust to some recipients.
  3. Some people like to get handwritten correspondence in an era of drastic email overload.
  4. If you have good handwriting, it might be impressive – and that’s from someone whose handwriting has deteriorated to an indecipherable scrawl.
  5. What they see is what they get – they know you didn’t deploy the spellchecker to make things right.
  6. It shows you have taken time to prepare your application – handwriting is no rush job.
  7. 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:

  1. It could get you noticed and make you memorable – for the wrong reasons.
  2. 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?
  3. They could question your motivation to get the job.
  4. 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.

Would I?

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.