Before typewriters many jobs required a fine “hand.” A hand in this context meant the quality of one’s writing. Clerks, certainly, required this skill. Their function was to create legible records. Professionals such as lawyers also required a fine hand. With the introduction of typewriters a fine hand became less important and speed and accuracy with the machine became the skill needed.
At some point this extended to resumes and job applications. When did the hand written resume die out? Certainly before I entered the job market in the 1970s. I have memories of my mom typing dad’s resume in the early 1960s. A typewritten resume was required as much as descring the family status. “Married with three children” was included with job history and military discharge status. My wife reports that in the 1980s there were still some ads that requested hand written resumes – oddly these were for laboring, physical effort jobs, not office positions.
Now resumes are expected in electronic form. The frequent requirement is a Word document or PDF file. Paper is not appreciated.
When might we return to handwritten resumes? I suspect a candidate for some creative position in advertising or gallery work or perhaps someone wishing to be a personal assistant will lead the way. The word of their hand written application and resume will spread and be emulated.
I’m not holding my breath.