Handwritten Cover Letter Submission: Is It Acceptable?





The job application process can be daunting and overwhelming. As an applicant, you want to make sure that you present yourself in the best possible light to stand out from other candidates.

One question that often arises when it comes to cover letters is whether or not it is acceptable to submit a handwritten one. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of submitting a handwritten cover letter, factors to consider before making the decision, and how to write a compelling handwritten cover letter.

The Pros of Submitting a Handwritten Cover Letter

Personal touch: A handwritten cover letter adds a personal touch that is not present in a typed one. It shows that you are willing to take the extra effort to craft a letter by hand, which can create a positive impression on the employer.

Attention-grabbing: A handwritten cover letter is unique and attention-grabbing, especially in an age where everything is digital. It can help you stand out from the pool of applicants who submit standard typed cover letters.

Demonstrates creativity: Handwriting is an art, and a handwritten cover letter can demonstrate your creativity and personality. It can also show that you are willing to take risks and try new things, which can be a desirable quality in certain industries.

Potential to stand out from other applicants: Handwritten cover letters are not very common, so submitting one can help you stand out from other applicants. It can show that you are willing to go the extra mile to get noticed, which can make a positive impression on the employer.

The Cons of Submitting a Handwritten Cover Letter

Legibility concerns: Not everyone has legible handwriting, and if your handwriting is difficult to read, it can hurt your chances of getting the job. Employers may not have the time or patience to decipher a handwritten cover letter.

Difficulty in reproducing the letter: If an employer wants to share your cover letter with other hiring managers or colleagues, it may be difficult to reproduce a handwritten one. This can make it challenging to circulate your letter and get your name in front of more people.

Not appropriate for all industries or companies: Handwritten cover letters may not be appropriate for all industries or companies. For example, a law firm or a financial institution may expect a more formal and professional cover letter.

Perception of unprofessionalism: Some employers may view a handwritten cover letter as unprofessional or amateurish. This can hurt your chances of getting the job, especially if the employer is looking for a more polished and experienced candidate.

Factors to Consider Before Submitting a Handwritten Cover Letter

Industry and company culture: The industry and company culture can play a significant role in determining whether a handwritten cover letter is appropriate. 

For example, if you are applying for a creative job in a startup or a design agency, a handwritten cover letter can be seen as a unique and creative touch. 

On the other hand, if you are applying for a corporate job in a law firm or a financial institution, a typed cover letter may be more appropriate.

Position and level of the job: The position and level of the job can also influence your decision to submit a handwritten cover letter. If you are applying for an entry-level or a junior position, a handwritten cover letter can show your enthusiasm and willingness to go the extra mile. 

However, if you are applying for a senior or a management position, a typed cover letter may be more appropriate.

Personal handwriting style: Your personal handwriting style can also affect your decision to submit a handwritten cover letter. If your handwriting is neat, legible, and professional, then it may be appropriate to submit a handwritten cover letter. 

However, if your handwriting is messy, illegible, or unprofessional, then a typed cover letter may be a better option.

Time constraints and job application deadlines: Finally, it’s important to consider time constraints and job application deadlines when deciding whether to submit a handwritten cover letter. 

Handwriting a cover letter can be time-consuming, so if you are pressed for time or have a tight deadline, a typed cover letter may be a more practical option.

How to Write a Compelling Handwritten Cover Letter

Choose the right stationery: The first step in writing a compelling handwritten cover letter is to choose the right stationery. Choose high-quality paper that is appropriate for the job and industry you are applying for. Avoid using bright or bold colors that can be distracting or unprofessional.

Follow standard cover letter format: A handwritten cover letter should follow the standard cover letter format, which includes a header, an introduction, a body, and a closing. Use proper formatting and spacing to make the letter easy to read and visually appealing.

Use proper grammar and spelling: Just like a typed cover letter, a handwritten cover letter should be free of grammar and spelling errors. Take the time to proofread your letter carefully, or ask someone else to proofread it for you.

Highlight relevant qualifications and achievements: Your handwritten cover letter should highlight your relevant qualifications and achievements that make you a strong candidate for the job. Be specific and provide examples to demonstrate your skills and experiences.

Add a personal touch and show enthusiasm: Finally, add a personal touch to your letter to make it memorable and engaging. Show enthusiasm for the job and the company, and explain why you are excited about the opportunity. Be authentic and genuine, and let your personality shine through.

Alternatives to a Handwritten Cover Letter

Electronic cover letter: An electronic cover letter is a typed cover letter that is submitted via email or an online job application portal. It’s a practical option that allows you to customize your letter and make edits easily.

Typed cover letter with handwritten signature: If you want to add a personal touch to your cover letter but don’t want to write the entire letter by hand, you can type the letter and sign it by hand. This allows you to showcase your handwriting while still maintaining a professional look.

Handwritten thank-you note after the interview: Finally, if you want to make a lasting impression after an interview, consider sending a handwritten thank-you note to the interviewer. It’s a thoughtful gesture that can set you apart from other candidates and show your appreciation for the opportunity.

Conclusion

In conclusion, submitting a handwritten cover letter can be a unique and attention-grabbing way to stand out from other applicants. However, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of submitting a handwritten cover letter and weigh them against the requirements of the job and the expectations of the employer. 

Factors such as industry and company culture, position and level of the job, personal handwriting style, and time constraints should all be taken into account when making a decision.

If you decide to write a handwritten cover letter, make sure to choose the right stationery, follow standard cover letter format, use proper grammar and spelling, highlight relevant qualifications and achievements, and add a personal touch to make the letter memorable and engaging.

However, if you decide that a handwritten cover letter is not appropriate for the job, there are alternatives such as an electronic cover letter, a typed cover letter with a handwritten signature, or a handwritten thank-you note after the interview.

In the end, the decision to submit a handwritten cover letter should be based on your personal circumstances and the requirements of the job. Whatever you decide, make sure to put your best foot forward and present yourself in the best possible light to increase your chances of getting the job.