Some years ago, I needed to hire a director for our corporate communications organization. This was before Linked In and Monster.com, so we advertised in various media and collected several hundred resumés. Then we tried to read them all. Our brains turned to jelly.
However, one resumé stood out – it was handwritten. Not just the cover letter; the entire multi-page resumé was written in an elegant and self-confident cursive script. Additionally, it was customized, pointing out in various places how the applicant’s experience would help him succeed in our company.
Compared to the hundreds of photocopied, machine-produced resumés, the handwritten resumé told us that the applicant was seriously interested in our position. He had obviously taken some time to study our needs and prepare a thoughtful application. Indeed, he had obviously taken some time just to prepare the physical document.
We decided that we needed to meet and interview the person (as well as several others, of course). The interview went well and we wound up hiring him.
I always tell job applicants that they need to stand out. Making your resumé look different certainly does the trick. In today’s digital age, resumés almost all look the same. Do something different. That may mean handwriting your resumé, (or just the cover letter), making your resumé longer or shorter than others, submitting a video resumé, or just doing something different … like showing up to press your case in person. In the meantime, practice your penmanship.