Handwriting analysis is no longer for freaks and psychics. Multinational companies hire handwriting analysts to understand personality traits of prospective job candidates. Character traits that matter during the hiring process — creativity, self-esteem, leadership, and optimism, for example — are revealed in one's handwriting.

You should learn how to analyze your co-workers' handwriting and your own to give yourself an edge at work. I have found that the basics of analysis are quick and easy to learn. Getting along with other people and knowing yourself are essential pieces to career success, and analyzing peoples' handwriting can help you speed up the process. Here are some examples:

Get along with people better
Knowing someone's personality traits is invaluable for collaborating with and motivating that person. Depending on that person to tell you his or her own traits is risky. Most people don't know themselves well enough; even focus group leaders don't bother to ask people directly what they like anymore.

Fortunately, with very little expertise, you can use handwriting to evaluate someone's dominant traits. For example, someone with a signature that leaves a lot of space between first and last names is not going to be an intimate, emotional person, so you can stop trying to forge that kind of relationship. If the first and last names overlap, that person is relationship-oriented and probably wants more than long-distance management from you.

Make better career choices
You can also use handwriting analysis to gauge your own dominant traits. Then you can figure out which career is best for the type of person you are.

For example, you can learn what sort of handwriting is appropriate for the job you aim for, and compare your own handwriting to that standard. Angular is appropriate for a programmer and inappropriate for a sales person. Perfect, schoolteacher writing reveals the need to establish order and would be a bad sign if you aspired to the freethinking required of an inventor.

Handwriting really does reflect your true self. So if you discover your penmanship does not reflect traits necessary for the career you have in mind, ask yourself if you are even in the right field.

Improve your image
Handwriting is like clothing. Your audience cannot help but evaluate your message by what it looks like. You wouldn't wear sweatpants to an important meeting, and you wouldn't wear a ball gown, either. Take the same care with your handwriting.

For example, in a note to your boss, if your letters are rigid and perfect you will project the image of someone who is anal, inflexible, and non-visionary. Fine if you are an accountant, not fine if you want to be CFO. If you scrawl a quick, barely legible note to your boss you seem to be more involved in your own ideas than in the people around you, you might project the image of an eccentric artistic genius, but if you aspire to management, write more legibly.

You also project self-esteem in your signature. I am shocked at how many people have a very tiny signature. You need no training in handwriting analysis to know that this is an expression of low self-esteem. Even if you feel like you want to disappear, force yourself to sign your name like you want people to see it.

To all you doubters, test the theory. Get a handwriting analysis book from the library. You only need to skim a few pages to get an idea of what to look for. Then take handwriting samples from people you know well and evaluate them. I bet you'll find the rules of analysis depict an accurate view of that person.

When you add handwriting analysis to your career arsenal, start out small — look at different loops and slopes and figure out what they mean. After a while, you'll find that handwriting analysis actually feels intuitive; like all good insights, once you have it it'll seem obvious, and acting on results of handwriting analysis will make as much sense to you as it does to those multinational companies.

9 replies
  1. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    You’ll be amazed to find how difficult it is to try to sign a page with a large signature when your normal signature is small.

    Also, a small signature doesn’t necessarily mean that you suffer from low self-esteem. Many academics have small handwritings. In fact a small handwriting is usually a sign of concentration and focus.
    Sandra
    Graphic Insight

  2. TJ
    TJ says:

    I can’t believe that companies actually use handwriting analysis! Will multinational corporations soon have phrenologists?

  3. Dhruv
    Dhruv says:

    Hi dave, before hiring a graphologist, one should know where he is trained from. A person who just reads some books outside and attempts to work for corporate is unfit in my view. Professional training in graphology takes at least 2 years of time and there are few organisation which adhere to that high standards. See the below list
    International School of Handwriting Analysis
    British Institute of Graphology
    Handwriting Analysts India

  4. Ethan
    Ethan says:

    So true! And you know what else? If they write their letters all exactly the same angle it means the’re totally, like, trustworthy? and you can lend them money and they’ll totally pay it back? But if the letters are all janky they’re like a scammer? And if they make their “A”s all pointy it means they’re a Sagittarius. And if they put a circle instead of a dot on their “i”s it means they’re a witch! But the only way you can tell for sure if they’re a witch is if you dunk them in water and they don’t drown. But if they do drown maybe they weren’t a witch but now they’re with Jesus so it’s OK. And if they believe in “handwriting analysis” they totally like believing stuff and they’re really bad at critical thinking.

  5. Arun
    Arun says:

    Well, Graphology has been under utilized. An important note already mentioned is that we need to ensure the Graphologist has his experience and a good certification in place. A good analyst matures only with time. The others are out there to just attract more emotional outbursts with people reading negatively about Graphology.

    Also my view is that what a experienced Graphologist could analyse in a short time and a short period of study, a psychologist assesment guy would take more time and effort to do the same. And more over spending so much on doing phd/s in psycho and other studies, wheres the ROI for the psychologists if Graphology races ahead :) this is one of the reasons for Graphology being looked down upon.

  6. Joe
    Joe says:

    Each and every field encounters their own array of naysayers and critics. This includes handwriting analysis. Yes, as with any field of study, anyone who reads a couple of books and declares themselves an expert does the field a disservice and can cause harm to others.

    Show me one employment assessment tool, or screening process that gets it right 100% of the time. The best employee screening processes incorporates multiple evaluation tools to provide the most accurate and concise total person assessment. Handwriting analysis as a psychological screening tool is extremely accurate, effective, and fast. What a trained psychologist may uncover assessing their patient over a 12-week timeframe, can be revealed by a well-trained professional in one handwriting analysis assessment. This allows for a more concise treatment, without wasting time or funding. Best of all, you can instantly track progression to adjust treatment appropriately when necessary. Over 25 years of documented research has been conducted at Buffalo University in handwriting analysis:

    http://www.cedar.buffalo.edu/highlights.html

  7. Jian Heitz
    Jian Heitz says:

    Why do we all have our own uniqe writing style? Just as we all walk and talk differently, so we write differently. It
    makes no sense there is not some meaning in it. It has to hold personality clues. It takes a studied analyst who can do a composite analysis that holds meaning that is valid. The impulse to write comes from the brain. It is captured
    gesture on paper. Of course it has meaning!

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