Handwritten Notes

The founder of online recruiting site, WallStJobs.com argues that personalized letters are an effective way of getting noticed when looking for work in a world dominated by electronic communications.

Robert Graber said:

"There are certainly times when expediency dictates the use of e-mail but there is no denying the power of the hand-held pen."

"It is rare that we see any kind of hard copy these days. Resumes, cover letters, job requisitions, are all on-line. It makes the search process easier and it streamlines what were once cumbersome tracking and review procedures."

However, a handwritten note can also present an opportunity to stand out from other candidates.

He continued:

"Hiring managers expect to receive search-related documents online. But a truly exceptional candidate will have noticed or heard something in the course of the hiring process that they can use as fodder for a brief, handwritten note in addition to what are otherwise traditional responses."

Robert Graber suggests looking for distinctive features on display when being interviewed:

"Then, carefully write a brief note relating to what you have noticed. For example, if you are a member of the same trade association that presented the company with a displayed award, mention it in a note. If you see a diploma, connect with the school in some way. You may know a friend who went there, and can casually relate it in your note."

He also recommends investing in some quality note cards:

"Neutral colors are always best. Practice writing the note a few times to be sure your handwriting is legible. Don't write more than two or three sentences. Unless you were told to the contrary, always use the person's title, and sign your first and last name. Make no assumptions of familiarity, keep it short and professional."

Robert Graber's final piece of advice:

"Don't use a postage machine or computer generated indicia. Use a real stamp. It's the little things that mean a lot."

JobSkills.info is a site dedicated to articles and features on careers, job searching, recruitment, selection and human resource development. JobSkills.info is part of the HRM Guide Network.

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