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Posti: Your handwriting could cost you a job |

Posti: Your handwriting could cost you a job

Would you like to know an unconventional yet effective way to change your behavior in the workplace or increase your odds of getting hired? Change your handwriting.

Pittsburgh-based handwriting expert Michelle Dresbold, author of “Sex, Lies and Handwriting” (Simon and Schuster, 2008), says that even just your signature on an application form can give potential employers clues about whether or not to hire you.

If your signature is clear and readable, Dresbold says, “This makes the person who is potentially hiring you feel safer about you because you are not hiding something from them.”

Your handwriting and your signature on the application form, says Dresbold, “should more or less match. If they don’t, that’s someone who is one way inside their head and another way to the public.”

If you are asked to write anything on unlined paper, pay attention to the slant of your script.

“If it goes way downhill, you may be suffering from depression,” cautions Dresbold. That feeling of hopelessness might be coming across in your interviews, so develop the habit of sloping your lines upward and your mood might elevate.

Making changes to your handwriting can accelerate behavior changes in the workplace, too.

Dresbold says if your handwriting is too flamboyant with big loops and lots of flourishes, or if your “I” is considerably larger than the rest of your script, your behavior in a group might be distracting or overwhelming. Practice writing without big loops and flourishes and make your “I” smaller to help you be a better team member.

Every aspect of your handwriting gives clues about who you are and how you behave, Dresbold says, and by practicing changes in your handwriting for about six weeks, you can change many undesirable behaviors.

“The truth is, appearances can be deceiving, but handwriting never lies,” Dresbold says.

Because your brain tells your body what and how to write, it follows that if you purposefully force your hand to write in a different manner, you will be sending your brain a signal that you are intent on behaving differently.

Are you a procrastinator? Dresbold says that fully completing the bottom loop of your “g” and “y” will help you finish what you start. Want to be better organized? Leave even margins on the paper and make sure the upper and lower loops on your “f” are equal in size. Want to accomplish goals you’ve set? Cross your “t” with a complete crossbar.

Dresbold says the No. 1 thing employers want to know about job applicants is whether they are honest, and the best clue about that is how clearly the applicant writes numbers.

“If you have to ask, ‘Is this a 7 or is it a 1?’ the person could be a thief or an embezzler.”

Dresbold has made changes in her handwriting to become more focused, which resulted in her finishing her book.

Perhaps changing your handwriting will yield a dramatic benefit for you, too.

Contact Chris Posti at,, or at 724-344-1668.

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