The Power of Putting Your Voice Behind Your Resume

For job seekers looking for their next opportunity or recent college graduates entering the work force, using your network and making a personal connection can be the leverage you need to get your next role.

Researchers are discovering that putting your human voice in the mix might be just as important.

Nick Epley and Juliana Schroeder, behavioral scientists at the University of Chicago are saying that voice can convey how a person thinks, including their ability to reason. When your voice changes in pitch or cadence, other people take these as cues indicating your intelligence and the level of activity in your mind.

Now that psychologists have uncovered this, could what job seekers say be more important than what they write? Curious about this question Epley and Schroeder designed a series of tests designed to simulate the “elevator pitch” in real life.

  • In one of the studies, MBA students had a 2-minute pitch videotaped for a company they wished to work for.
  • Next volunteers posed as a group of “employers” who needed to judge the pitches and see if they should hire the candidates.
  • The volunteers either read the transcript of the spoken pitch, viewed the video, or listened to the audio alone.
  • While doing this, they needed to consider such questions as: How intelligent was the candidate? How much do you like them? Would you hire this person?

The results were convincing. Speaking greatly helped candidates/job seekers.

  • Volunteers who listened to the pitch rated the candidate much more favorably than those that just read the transcript. And most importantly, they were more likely to hire that person.
  • Even more interestingly, the volunteers who watched the video did not rate the candidates any higher than those who just listened to the pitch. The visual information/cues did not change their judgement about the candidates intelligence or hirability.

So words of wisdom for job seekers?

  • Always do whatever you can to get some voice/face time.
  • Try to setup phone calls and meetings with people in your target companies.
  • After making a job application, think about what you can do to get the recruiter or hiring manager on the phone.
  • For tips on how to do these things (and more), have a look at our complimentary EPIC Job Search Guide.

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