link.png Could the sound of your voice get you a job?← Back


Anyone who’s been through the process of hunting for a job will know the importance of having a strong CV, accompanied by a relevant cover letter. However, a new study suggests that employers are particularly drawn to the human voice rather than a written job application.
Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder, from the University of Chicago, conducted a series of experiments to compare the difference between reading a job application or hearing a pitch. The study, entitled ‘The Sound of Intellect’, examines the impressions of inexperienced evaluators as well as professional job recruiters. MBA students in the process of searching for work were asked to come up with a pitch for their ideal job, which was then written down and videotaped.
In each of the different experiments, recruiters perceived a candidate to be more competent, thoughtful and intelligent when they heard a pitch, rather than if they read it. As a result, they would be more interested in employing the candidate whose resumé they had heard: “Adding a human voice—whether male or female—to written pitches made job candidates seem to have greater intellect, and increased reported interest in hiring the candidates.” Speech can increase a candidate’s appeal, as it conveys their enthusiasm and interest.

Epley concludes: "When conveying intelligence, it's important for one's voice to be heard — literally." So whilst it’s crucial to have a strong CV, job seekers shouldn’t underestimate the importance of talking to prospective employers. Sending an email may be a quick option, but actually talking to a recruiter and presenting them with a convincing elevator pitch will probably get you further.

"The Sound of Intellect: Speech Reveals a Thoughtful Mind, Increasing a Job Candidate's Appeal," will appear in an upcoming issue of the The Journal of Psychological Science.