Identify Qualities Employers Want

By: Fiona Mackay Young
If you hire staff, you know how difficult it is to know from a resume and interview who is the best person for the job. It’s easy enough to establish credentials and even identify “hard" skills (such as keyboarding speed, mechanical skills etc). However, measuring the “soft" skills (communication skills, attitude and other personal qualities) is much harder. These skills are easily identifiable from writing, and as a Handwriting Analyst I help employers learn how to “read" the writing of their job applicants.

Below is one list of soft skills, or personal qualities, much in demand with employers and how to identify them from handwriting. The brief descriptions include only the most obvious traits for each. A total report for an employer as to which candidates possess the greatest degree of these skills, would involve many more traits and an in depth evaluation. Employers want someone who can:

1. Communicate Effectively

  • Emotional responsiveness shown in moderate right hand slant
  • Ability to communicate verbally shown in some open circle letters
  • Good listener shown in some closed circle letters
  • Empathy, shown in cup shaped base connections

2. Commit to the job including honesty, dependability and enthusiasm

  • Honesty shown in clean, un-looped circle letters
  • Rhythm or stability shown in a even rhythm of the writing
  • Enthusiasm shown in long sweeping t-bars
  • Loyalty shown in round dots on “i"


Learn new tasks willingly – demonstrate initiative and maintain productivity

  • Open minded shown in open “e"
  • Initiative shown in t-bars sweeping out to the right from the base of the letter (other indications also
  • Good memory – “i" dotted, t crossed
  • Energy – writing that is written with obvious energy
  • Determination – long, firm down strokes on y,j,g,f

4. Accept responsibility – evaluate your own work, use time effectively, and have pride in the quality of your work

  • Willingness to accept responsibility shown in huge initial loop on M, N, or other letter structures
  • Clear thinking – lack of lead in strokes in writing
  • Analytical – v-shapes at the baseline between or in letters
  • Pride – t and d stems twice the height of lower case letters

5. Excellent Interpersonal Skills – work co-operatively with others, have a positive attitude, accept constructive criticism

  • Optimism shown in up slanted t-bars and lines of writing
  • Co-operative shown in mild yielding, lower case s with no angles
  • Little or no sensitivity to criticism – no loops on stems of t or d

6. Make Decisions – organize tasks, contribute new ideas

  • Organization shown in equal balanced upper and lower part of “f"
  • Abstract Imagination – shown in upper loops
  • Decisive – shown in blunt endings where pen leaves page

7. Flexibility - – adapt to changing requirements

  • Yielding (as above)
  • Change and variety, shown in long and wide lower loops
  • Open-minded (as above)
  • Generous shown in long final strokes

8. Leadership Potential – demonstrate persistence, self motivation, try to improve performance

  • Persistence shown in anti-clockwise loop often on t-bar, capital A or H, or other letter structures
  • Self Motivation – shown in heavy t-bars
  • Pride (as above)
  • Ambition shown in high t-bars

9. Grow in the job – show willingness to further skills and train

  • Investigative, wanting to know moreFind Article, shown in inverted V formations in m and n
  • Energy (as above)
  • Open minded (as above)

10. Ability to handle personal problems without letting them interfere with work

  • Moderate Emotional Responsiveness - right hand slant no too pronounced

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