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Facts About What Your Handwriting Can Say About You to an Employer

Most companies in South Africa who use handwriting analysis, use it as an additional tool for the pre-employment screening of all levels of employees. Handwriting analysis cuts down on interviewing time for second and third interviews by helping the manager to focus questions more specifically. Furthermore, the analysis points towards questions that can be asked of previous employers.
Human resources professionals have most likely experienced the following scenario:

The interview you conducted was terrific. The candidate has the right qualifications, is highly articulate and appears to fit into the client company’s corporate culture. But your reference checks only gave you a verification of employment dates as shown in the CV, and the job “tide”. You know you cannot make a decision based mainly on gut feelings and intuition. It is at times like these that you wish you had a reliable selection tool to round out the picture.

Personality RadarYou may have heard colleagues talk about their success with handwriting analysis. Indeed, some highly qualified and experienced South African HR Professionals – all with a Masters Degree in Psychology - have this to say: “Whereas psychometric testing gives a picture of a person’s potential etc., and where personality questions may be answered according to what the person thinks you want to hear, handwriting analysis gives a picture of the person’s actual current personality and cannot be manipulated – perhaps explaining why it has been used in criminal courts for ages!” In the U.S.A. it is now even used as an aid to Jury selection.

Handwriting analysis has received much publicity in the past twenty years as an additional selection tool that is gaining acceptance in the corporate community, here in South Africa and throughout the world. Moreover, it has been found that additional information that it provides is extremely useful in decision-making when making a final choice on who to appoint, especially in KEY POSITIONS.

Human resource professionals regularly have a difficult time obtaining information about respective candidates. Often they cannot ask personal questions unrelated to the job, and only get limited, even frustrating, time consuming responses from references. The rights of the employee and must always be considered, but that is only part of their challenge.

Most companies in South Africa who use handwriting analysis, use it as an additional tool for the pre-employment screening of all levels of employees. Handwriting analysis cuts down on interviewing time for second and third interviews by helping the manager to focus questions more specifically. Furthermore, the analysis points towards questions that can be asked of previous employers.

A major headache is often encountered when there are a flood of applicants for a particular position, often filling the e-mail box to overflowing. However, handwriting analysis needs just as little as just ONE page of writing in ANY official language, and hundreds of applicants can very quickly and inexpensively be distilled down to just say, 10 people, without necessarily having to laboriously read each CV using what is called a “Quick Sort” mechanism. This is again, a groundbreaking approach.

Handwriting Sample BadAlthough companies primarily use handwriting analysis to help determine if the right person is matched to the right job, the technique has a variety of other very credible business applications. For example, Human resource professionals now often use handwriting analysis to:

1. Evaluate candidates for promotion, where personality nowadays plays a major role.

2. To determine their “fit” where they are being moved to another company branch or duty.

3. To assess their compatibility (or lack) with their new manager when they are transferred.

4. To determine the interaction (friction or not?) between members of a group or team.

5. Where the new position may involve considerable stress, whether they are likely to be able to cope with that challenge.

6. Whether they can, or indeed want to succeed at all. (believe it, some people are actually “scared” of success!)

7. Where they may just need some mentoring or coaching, and where it is indicated that they tend to procrastinate, fudge the facts or ignore the finer, important details of their jobs.

8. Determine the suitability in sales and marketing positions, and importantly, whether there is a strong MONEY motivation, which is critically important for success in this field.

Where the handwriting field is going

The handwriting analysis field is rapidly changing. Across the globe, more handwriting analysts are working in business than ever before. Many are involved with management development programs, life coaching and pre-employment testing. “Thinking” HR professionals and psychologists respect the wealth of information which can be gleaned from following this path.

Practitioners are coming to understand the importance of scientific studies and are not only becoming more familiar with the literature, but are interested in devising studies that meet the strict criteria of the scientific establishment. In the past most handwriting analysts were not acquainted with the psychometric techniques needed to validate employment predictors. But this is a rapidly changing. As far back as 1989, the annual Congress and Institute of the International Graphoanalysis Society began offering an introductory course in statistics. A number of Universities, the most noteworthy of which are Italy and Spain, which now offer the study of Graphology at degree level.

Drawing with ComputerLatterly, the use of computers has added an exciting dimension to handwriting analysis, mainly because their use provides an accurate, unbiased benchmark for measuring the samples provided by clients. Although in its infancy, there is currently experimental work being undertaken by a Clinical Psychologist in Israel, which will lead to handwriting samples simply being scanned into a computer. Even more exciting is work with 3D Holographic techniques, again using computer technology. This has been primarily been used in the detection of forgeries up to now, but is being considered for applying to standard handwriting analysis.

Many Israelis see handwriting as true personality test: Graphology experts here say that up to 60% of Israeli companies use handwriting analysis to help identify unsuitable or untrustworthy job applicants. "Position Available" advertisements routinely request handwritten resumes.

In an interview, a spokesman for Bank Leumi, Israel's largest financial institution, seemed slightly embarrassed but confirmed that all potential employees must take a graphology test.

Leave your markThroughout the world, handwriting analysis is an accepted criminal investigation tool. But its value as a mirror of personality is much more controversial. And in the United States, graphologists concede, their craft is often viewed as more fitting for a carnival sideshow than as serious psychological testing.

Academic institutions in the world that currently offer an accredited degree in handwriting analysis are:

? The University of Urbino, Italy: MA (Graphology)

? Emerson University College, Buenos Aires, Argentina: BA (Graphology)

? Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona: Spain: MA (Graphology)

Wikipedia References

Handwriting can reveal tell-tale signs of deception, according to a study published in the November issue of the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology. To see whether people's handwriting differed when they were writing true or false statements, a team of researchers the from Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences at Haifa University in Israel employed a complicated computer analysis program called the Computerized Penmanship Evaluation Tool (ComPET). They then had 34 subjects write true and false sentences on the tool's "digitizer," or electronic writing tablet, and measured all aspects of the penmanship—including the height and length of individual strokes, and the pressure applied while writing.

They found that, there were clear differences in all three of those measurements—average pressure applied, and length and height of individual strokes of the pen—when people were lying.

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Comments (16)

great article colin keep them coming

Ranked #5 in Careers

Thanks for your comments both Carol and Barbara - always an inspiration, and encouraging having to answer questions about my craft. Your question, Barbara, is VERY relevant, so, here are the facts: BOTH a person’s mental and physical condition affect their ability to write. Therefore, the mental and physical condition of the writer needs to be taken into consideration when comparing handwriting, so that writing is taken from a similar set of conditions. Did the writer suffer from any illnesses, either chronic or transitory? Could an injury, accident or condition have altered the writing either temporarily or permanently? It is important to compare handwriting from a similar point in time and under similar circumstances in order to compensate for these and other changes. A writer who is under severe stress from an accident or in excruciating pain (as mentioned in your case Barbara, "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome" – also affected my wife) will not write in his or her normal manner. The handwriting will deviate sometimes to the point of not being recognizable or identifiable. A long-term illness, such as cancer, will cause handwriting to slowly deteriorate. It is not necessarily a steady decline. There may be some temporary improvement in the writing, although the writer never regains optimum skill level. Writers who lose their ability to write with their dominant hand (either left or right) learn to write with other parts of their body, such as the opposite hand, a foot, or in the case of quadraplegics, with the pen held between their teeth. When a person becomes fluid in writing using an alternate method, such as other hand writing, or foot writing, MANY SIMILAR characteristics to his or her previous writing will be found. Mouth writing, although more awkward than handwriting, shows remarkable similarities to previous writing styles. The point is that, ANY writing is BRAIN writing, and certain, sometimes subtle characteristics will prevail. And that is why learning to read handwriting takes MANY years, and requires expert knowledge and sensitivity to the issues. Not just the parlor game or party piece some folk seem to think it is.

Ranked #5 in Careers

Work at Haifa University in Israel has recently shown that: "Handwriting can reveal tell-tale signs of deception, according to a study published in the November issue of the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology. To see whether people's handwriting differed when they were writing true or false statements, a team of researchers the from Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences at Haifa University in Israel employed a complicated computer analysis program called the Computerized Penmanship Evaluation Tool (ComPET). They then had 34 subjects write true and false sentences on the tool's "digitizer," or electronic writing tablet, and measured all aspects of the penmanship—including the height and length of individual strokes, and the pressure applied while writing. They found that, there were clear differences in all three of those measurements—average pressure applied, and length and height of individual strokes of the pen—when people were lying.

Ranked #21 in Careers

Interesting but I can see where physcial problems such as eye sight or arthritis might affect some of the hand writing results.

Ranked #5 in Careers

Hullo Barbara - indications such as the one you mention, are anathema to what any correct HW Analysis is about. That is what is called a "party piece" and there are stages of veracity - once = NO, twice, well.....until it becomes an indicator, and then only when taken in balance with other indicators. But even THAT is not the whole picture, because there is a process. The first is called Gestalt (a psychological term meaning "the whole picture) which looks at a page, to start with, upside down! Then there is also the Atomistic analysis, which looks at other aspects. I understand where you are coming from, and I respect that.....but to say they are untrue? Why not study Graphology? It is a challenge, and once hooked we could then have an even more meaningful debate. There are plenty of EXCELLENT teachers in the US. The counter argument is the exclusive use of Psychometric testing, which Psychologist colleagues of mine agree, an be fudged. Then there are Polygraph tests - Wikipedia tells us: "Polygraphy is widely rejected as pseudoscience by the scientific community. Nonetheless, polygraphs are in some countries used as an interrogation tool with criminal suspects or candidates for sensitive public or private sector employment. US federal government agencies such as the FBI and the CIA and many police departments such as the LAPD use polygraph examinations to interrogate suspects and screen new employees". But thanks for your comments, because as a teacher myself, I WELCOME questions, especially the tough ones, because THEN I know people are wanting to learn more....otherwise they are not interested....and that would be tragic.

Ranked #59 in Careers

What an interesting article. Thanks for sharing your knowledge in this field.

Ranked #5 in Careers

Oi vey

Ranked #37 in Careers

Very good information. I learned a bit about handwriting analysis when I was in college. That was quite a long time ago so I don't really remember much of what I learned.

Ranked #5 in Careers

Thanks Rae - I would urge you to study, if you can, as it opens a completely new vista of knowledge, not only about others, but also yourself. The Best in the US, in my opinion, for teaching, is Heidi Harrelson, of the AAHA - just Google that.

A fascinating insight, Colin. Thanks for posting.

Quite an interesting read :) buzzed it up :)

Farooque

I am looking for some sample signature , so that i can change mine can some one help for it.. this article is very good indeed .

Ranked #5 in Careers

You may try to change the way you sign, but the characteristics are inherent and cannot be changed - that is why a signature is recognized for signing a multitude of documents. Forgeries, to the trained eye of a Graphologist are easy to pick up - mainly because they are TOO perfect.

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Ranked #5 in Careers

In plain language - bugger off! You are not allowed to promote any product on this site, let alone send me spam!

Colin, This is a very interesting article. Thanks for taking out time to write this useful article. I enjoyed it and learned a lot from this post. Kindly have a look on my article "Improve Your Handwriting".

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