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Graphology: What handwriting reveals about applicants

Whoever writes gives himself away. The handwriting is body language. It enables a glimpse into our psyche and personality. Graphologists are convinced of this. For them, handwriting is a kind of character testimony, as individual as a fingerprint. Accordingly, graphology is used in applications - for a handwritten résumé, for example. Or when analyzing a signature. The results of this are, however, controversial. But what do graphologists actually read from handwriting? Which flourishes, bows and hooks reveal what exactly? We clarify ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

What can you tell from the handwriting?

Scripture analysis is considered by many to be esoteric reading coffee grounds. As hocus-pocus. Graphology is not even a recognized science, although the Greek term ("doctrine of the meaning of handwriting") suggests it. Handwriting as a mirror of personality? In Germany, font analysis is viewed critically. In fact, graphology is a subordinate discipline of psychology in this country, located in personality diagnostics.

An unequivocal connection between the handwriting and a person's personality could never be proven. It looks different with our European neighbors. In France and Italy, for example, handwriting analyzes are regularly used as a valued and complementary tool in the selection of applicants.

Amazingly true

Of course you can take a critical look at all of this. However, anyone who gets involved and researches users or checks with the handwriters often experiences a surprise: the reports of experienced graphologists are astonished by clients and peers as "astonishingly accurate". Many are amazed at what the handwriting reveals about them. But why is it like that? Let's take a closer look ...

Where is graphology used?

There are fields of application for graphological reports where one would like to work with previously unfamiliar people over a longer period of time, but still know little about them and trust plays an important role. This is traditionally the case with applications. Especially since the candidates only show their good side in the application documents. Handwriting analyzes are then a kind of attempt to look behind the facade:

Example résumé

If a handwritten curriculum vitae or a handwritten sample on a DIN A4 page is required, it can be assumed that the documents will be subjected to a graphological report. In the end, it is always about the candidate's personality, which is supposed to be revealed through the handwriting. At its core, it is examined how uniform, fluid and rhythmic the handwriting sample is. A straight font, for example, stands for a controlled head person, a font inclined to the right for the sociable, impulsive.

Example signature

We put our signature under contracts, documents, orders. The CV and cover letter are also signed in the application. Graphologists assume that a person's signature shows who they want to be or how they want to be perceived by others. The signature analysis is often compared with a general sample of the handwriting and checks whether both harmonize. If a person has a small typeface, but an expansive, oversized signature, it doesn't look very authentic. It is not uncommon for a profile neurosis to be concealed here.

According to their own information, graphologists can use the handwriting deduce how emotionally stable his mind or how pronounced his drive is. So whether a person is full of vigor or rather passive. What they cannot do is deduce age, gender, or political attitudes from Scripture.

TIP: If you as an applicant are asked to submit a written sample, you should write a neutral text if possible. Nothing that affects you emotionally. It has proven useful, for example, to copy a harmless newspaper article.

Font analysis: what graphologists look for

When it comes to graphology, it doesn't matter whether someone has a badass or writes nicely. Rather, what matters are the proportions of the so-called ascenders, middle and descenders within individual words and whether someone adorns their letters with flourishes. The graphologists pay particular attention to the following characteristics of handwriting:

  • rhythm
    Is the writing constant and in flux or does it seem ticked off?
  • uniformity
    Do some letters lean to the right while others slide to the left? Or does the writing show a uniform typeface?
  • originality
    Are certain peculiarities copied or does the writing make an authentic and unadulterated impression?
  • Garlands
    In the case of people who use the so-called garland, it is difficult for the observer to recognize the difference between “u” and “n”. Graphologists attribute characteristics such as sociability and openness to this typeface.
  • Arcades
    By arcade, graphologists mean vaults that are reminiscent of an arch and that are therefore found in letters such as “m”, “n” or “h”. People who like to use arcades are described as reticent and introverted.
  • thread
    The letters “n”, “m” and “u” are particularly affected by the thread-like spelling, which tend to be reminiscent of lines rather than letters. Individuals who have a handwriting with these characteristics are characterized by adaptability and flexibility.
  • angle
    People who like to write at angles tend to use jagged lines instead of curved arcs. Graphologists attribute determination and assertiveness to individuals with this signature.
  • print
    How tight is the pen pressed when writing on the paper? The higher the pressure, the more passionate and emotional the writer. A "light" font, however, is considered an indication of an introverted person.
  • Points
    The ones on the “i” are particularly revealing: Directly above the letter, this is interpreted as a symbol of organization and compassion. Diagonally next to it, it reveals an impatient person. Those who place the i-point to the left of the i are again considered hesitant. Painted as a circle, it reveals a childlike disposition.

Because it is difficult to write about handwriting without seeing it, let's look at the whole thing again in detail and with more pictures and examples.

Forms of binding in handwriting

This is how it is interpreted by graphologists:

  • arcade
    Because the arcade is closed at the top, it symbolizes closeness and restraint. An arcade writer is difficult to lure from the reserve and is reluctant to reveal his inner workings.
  • garland
    Garland writers are seen as open-minded, sociable, sociable people. However, the decisive factor is how far apart the garland is: Wide and goblet-shaped writers are happy to pass on their knowledge. If the arches are narrow and deep, that speaks more of an inhibited loner.
  • angle
    Angle writers like to paint their consonants as a zigzag line. Anyone who writes like this is considered strong-willed, determined and assertive - but sometimes also as stubborn and intolerant.
  • thread
    Threadwriters are often opportunists: They like to avoid difficult decisions, remain vague and try to achieve their goal without great effort. In the extreme, they are scheming and devious.

Curlicues and expansive handwriting

This is how it is interpreted by graphologists:

  • A narcissist, for example, is often characterized by oversized initial letters and noticeably left-leaning loops.
  • People unable to work in a team, on the other hand, often write irregularly, idiosyncratically, often in the form of pointed movements.

With the initial and final stresses, the writer expresses his need for validity:

  • Anyone who begins his words with sweeping flourishes or oversized letters - for example with his signature - documents pride, verve and enthusiasm, but also the desire for size, recognition and superiority.
  • If the beginnings of words are stunted, modesty, restraint, and possibly even insecurity are revealed.
  • The final emphasis, in turn, speaks for a strong-willed person with a penchant for opposition. As a rule, he has little tact.
  • In contrast to scribes, whose word ends run out quietly and small. They are mostly good diplomats, but they are also easy to influence.

Ascenders in the handwriting

The so-called central zone is the area in which the lowercase letters m or e are located, the other two zones form those of the letters b, d, h, k, l and t, or g, j, p, q and y. This is how it is interpreted by graphologists:

  • Accentuated ascenders reveal the scribes' intellectual interests and how enthusiastic the author is.
  • If they are stunted, it is interpreted as mental laziness.

The writer's self-esteem is also expressed in the central zone: the more expansive the writing, the greater his ego. Pronounced capital writers can be proud, magnanimous or pompous, on the other hand also full of action and desire for freedom.

Descenders in handwriting

This is how it is interpreted by graphologists: From the descenders, graphologists deduce the drives as well as the material and practical interests: If they are shortened, they show a lack of assertion and lack of drive.

Skew in the handwriting

This is how it is interpreted by graphologists:

  • A font that is predominantly inclined to the left is interpreted as self-centeredness and pronounced self-control.
  • Right-handers, on the other hand, are considered warm, informal and sociable. But they can also be characterized by inconsistency and a lack of discipline.
  • Writers whose handwriting is perpendicular are in turn regarded as level-headed, sober people with little temperament - up to and including indifference.

Word spacing in handwriting

Finally, the so-called word spacing is also examined. So how far and regularly the individual words are from each other. According to graphology, this shows the author's attitude. This is how it is interpreted by graphologists:

  • If there are large gaps between the words, this is indicated by the writer's mental clarity, a large overview (in the literal sense of the word) and sufficient distance from things and people. In extreme cases, however, also for contact problems, maybe even loneliness.
  • Narrow spaces between words, on the other hand, are often found in people who are emotional to chaotic. They lack the proverbial distance.

Everything has two sides. Also a written piece of paper. However, the quality of a handwriting test depends on the experience and quality of the graphologist. In the absence of in-depth knowledge, not much more comes out than quackery. A writing sample is also always a snapshot. Means: There are so-called change writers. In other words, people whose handwriting changes with their personal mood. This can enormously falsify the interpretation of the handwriting sample.

Graphology is only an addition to the selection process

Graphology can (and should) therefore only be an addition to personality analysis. Ideally, it does not make a preselection in the application process, but rather it flanks the impressions in the interview.

Only in combination with a healthy understanding of human nature, relevant experience with personality tests and selection procedures, a meaningful character picture of an applicant can be drawn.

The signature of success

What would the handwriting of the perfect candidate look like? Finally, the above findings can also be turned around and thus a perfect applicant can be designed. The handwriting of success therefore has the following characteristics:

  • A bit jagged (strong-willed)
  • Subtle garlands (open-minded, sociable)
  • Slightly enlarged beginnings of words (ambitious, full of vigor)
  • Stressed ascenders (enthusiastic)
  • Right-leaning (casual, warm-hearted)
  • Large spacing between words (mental clarity and overview)

Graphology test: reading handwriting for beginners

If all of this was still too theoretical for you, you can also do a simple and free self-test right away: On THIS page there is a - completely unscientific - writing analysis guide with evaluation. First, write down a text template and then evaluate it yourself using 20 questions (which should be answered as accurately and honestly as possible). Shortly afterwards you will receive a small psychogram of yourself.

For example, the result could be:

The writer is self-confident and ready to show his strengths to others. He is easy going and generous. The writer is an impulsive, versatile and unconventional type. It is not easy for him to adapt.

He is convinced of himself and has his own opinion. He is not so easily influenced by others, not even by a "But that's how it should be."

He is sensual, warm-hearted, cozy and imaginative. On the whole, he seems relaxed to uninterested, but when he is convinced of something, he surprises those around him with his exuberant and enthusiastic demeanor.

He is lively and sociable. With much understanding of the needs of others. The writer is always open and open to other people. He enjoys dealing with people, the ideal workplace is where he interacts with other people.

He works very precisely and is characterized by rational, analytical thinking. The writer tries very hard for justice. He always tries to stand up for others. He is a very humorous person, tries not to hurt anyone with this humor. The writer is an impulsive and imaginative idealist.

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