Job Hunting? Speak Up!

Is it a bit too forward to call up a prospective employer? Well, some recent data suggests that doing so may be a good idea.

A study published in Psychological Science has found that people rate job candidates as smarter, more capable, and more job-worthy if they hear the job candidates voice. Researchers had a group of MBA students give elevator pitches for their ideal jobs, which the researchers then videoed. Some pitches were designed to be given in person while others were read aloud from written pitches. Researchers than polled some people at a science museum in Chicago, along with professional recruiters, and asked them to rate the hypothetical applicants. Researchers also brought in some actors to read the pitches.

All that said, the job recruiters (and people polled at the science museum) consistently rated the hypothetical candidates as more competent, smarter, and more job-worthy if they heard their voices. It didn’t matter if the voices were over video or from an in-person actor. It didn’t matter if the pitch was designed to be spoken or intended to be read. Voices won every single time.

So, if you’re job hunting: pick up the phone. Set up a meeting. Do something—anything—to make your voice heard, because it beats the written word. At least, in the minds of recruiters.



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