Hello all,

I have three interviews at the same company in the near future and I already have my thank you cards ready to go. However, my handwriting is extremely poor and although I have practiced and written very slowly there is nothing I can do in time except have another person write them which I am extremely reluctant to do.

I am sure the predominate recommendation will be to "Send them anyway" but how much does very poor handwriting hurt me in this regards?

Thanks in advance.

BBundy's picture

I have bad handwriting as well, but my experience has been that the person receiving them did not care. I have received two thank you emails just for sending the cards. My motto was, if I start working there, they're going to find out about my handwriting sooner or later, so why not now.

wendii's picture


This discussion came up the other day in my real life, and my comment was, you could write it on the back of a chocolate wrapper and it would still be the first one I ever got and really impress me.

I hope that sums up my feelings!


tlhausmann's picture

[quote="jruss2k"]Hello all,

I have three interviews at the same company in the near future and I already have my thank you cards ready to go. [/quote]

Any handwritten note (no scribbling out the errors) will do.

jhack's picture

If your grammar is correct and your sentiment is genuine, you will shine.

As a hiring manager, I would be thrilled by a handwritten note, and I would expect that most work products would be typed so penmanship would not be an issue.


Mark's picture

I like what's been said, and I agree.

And, in the interest of sounding like my friends at Bain, and addressing the 1% possibility, IF your handwriting is just illegible:

1. Run them through your printer. Get extra... printers are touchy sometimes.

2. Work on your handwriting. :wink:, but seriously.

Good luck!!!


asteriskrntt1's picture

A chocolate wrapper? Oh my. That Wendii will do almost anything to get her chocolate fix! :wink:


wendii's picture


You know me so well!


Glenn Ross's picture

I will be happy to put my bad handwriting up against anyones. I think I've posted here in the forum's before that I first write a draft on a separate sheet of paper. When I am satisfied with the draft, I then slowly copy it onto the thank you note. Writing the draft first, reduces the risk of strikethroughs.

This method doesn't take any extra time, in fact it probably saves time because I'm less likely to screw up the note.

I also use an embossed thank you note with my name on it since my signature is illegible as well. :D

tlhausmann's picture

[quote="Glenn Ross"]I will be happy to put my bad handwriting up against anyones. [...][/quote]

This is not a contest to "win" (bad handwriting.) In my opinion, it is really the thought and sincere appreciation that counts.


Glenn Ross's picture

Once again, proof that e-mail doesn't show tone. I was joking when I said I'd put my bad handwriting up against anyone's. Guess sloppiness applies to forum posts as well. I'll remember to make better use of the emoticons next time :(

asteriskrntt1's picture

Hi Glenn

Although some of us missed your joking tone, your idea is still a good one.

Pre-writing the notes on the PC or whatever and then copying it over is a great idea. (For me, anyhow). Some people still need the tactile sensation of pen on paper to get their ideas out.

Glad you are contributing to the forums.


juliahhavener's picture

My father's handwriting was horrible - hardly legible. For years, other people signed my birthday and Christmas cards. The first year he wrote something in his own hand, was the one I've held on to for more than 15 years and cherish still.

Prettiness has a very low priority when it comes to thank you notes and cards.

thaGUma's picture

[quote]Prettiness has a very low priority when it comes to thank you notes and cards.[/quote]
Hmm drunken spider with sneezing doesn't do it for me. If you write a thank you note, it must be legible. If it is a scrawl you are saying "thanks but I don't really care enough to take my time about it."

bflynn's picture

If that's what it means to you so be it. Handwritten notes are so rare that someone who didn't care probably wouldn't even do one.

I'd rather have bad handwriting than no note at all.


asteriskrntt1's picture


You know, I was having an offline discussion with someone from the MT forum about some feedback I got from a recruiter. The recruiter said that my MT resume needed more white space and it was hard to find the pertinent info.

And I was thinking "Gosh, like the job titles and little bullets followed by accomplishments are not enough of a clue for you? And where does this crap about white space come from? No one complains about white space in newspapers, magazines or books."

So I began to think that someone said something long ago and it became a universal absolute law that has no basis. Creating those absolute laws is dangerous.

James Gutherson's picture

[quote="bflynn"]If that's what it means to you so be it. Handwritten notes are so rare that someone who didn't care probably wouldn't even do one.

I'd rather have bad handwriting than no note at all.


Agreed - They are so rare that if I got one written in crayon on butchers paper, I would put it in pride of place.

juliahhavener's picture

Depending on what I have to say, this is the 'process' I use:

1) Decide on the main items that will join the 'thank you'.
2) Compose the note itself - either on paper or the computer depending on the Mood of the Day.
3) Review and edit.
4) Write it out as a 'final draft'. I try to write it on a similar size paper without lines. This gets me in the habit of writing straight lines and tells me if I'm going to fit what I've written.
5) See Step 3.
6) Write my thank you card.

If I'm having a bad handwriting day, I will do practice runs of the addressing, too. Some days, I've been typing for days and my script is just bad. Writing out the drafts works out the kinks.

Even for folks with bad penmanship, practicing what you're going to write tends to improve the final product. It allows you to identify particular areas you want to improve, or certain issues that come up (like my tendency to write larger on the left, smaller on the right, so I can end up with something that looks like a geometry project if I'm not careful).

agrandy's picture

I also had a recruiter say the same thing: more white space. To be fair, he only recruited for one company and, my understanding is, mostly hired entry level employees.

I've concluded the whitespace comment is more a statement about the recruiter than it is about the resume.


tomas's picture

I have listened again to the "How to write a thank-you note" cast again and I didn't hear Mike or Mark express an opinion on whether to use printing or cursive writing. Is there a consensus on one being better than the other? Cursive is prettier, but my printing is more legible. My concern being that printing might look a little childish.

bflynn's picture

Short answer - for you, printing should be fine. Still, you should attempt to make the writing as nice as possible.

Overall, I think the answer depends on your handwriting. If your cursive is illegible to you, printing should be fine. I would think that it is unlikely that your cursive writing would be sloppy, but your printing look grade school perfect. I don't see why it would look childish.

My writing is a mix. I know my cursive writing is generally unreadable, so I attempt to print, but in the middle of longer words, I slip back into cursive. I've never had complaints from anyone about reading my writing since starting to do this, so it is what I continue to do.

Besides - if I get a hand written note, the LAST thing on my mind would ever be "gee, the writing looks childish." The first thing will always be "wow, this person really cared."


DanStratton's picture

I believe the key word is 'handwritten'. Printing, cursive, crayon... doesn't matter nearly as much as that you took the time. I had a time when my team really sacrificed and pulled off a herculean effort. I wrote them all notes of thanks, copied them for their files and sent a copy to my new director so he knew what kind of superstars he now had on his team. His first comments was, "Wow! You hand wrote all these?" :wink:

bflynn's picture

Dan, I know what you meant. For the record....crayon is probably over the line. :)


DanStratton's picture

:D Brian, depends on the audience! :lol: Kids love it!