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Build Your Career Get the Job

Speak Up! Your Voice May Land You a Job

Speak Up! Your Voice May Land You a Job
Credit: Popov/Shutterstock

When you're searching for a job, it's critical to make your voice heard, new research finds.

While an impressive résumé is important, it's your voice that may help you land the job, according to a study from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Researchers discovered that when employers and professional recruiters both listen to and read job seekers' qualifications, they rate the candidates as more competent, thoughtful and intelligent when they hear the pitch, as opposed to when they simply read it to themselves. As a result, they like the candidates more and are more interested in hiring them.

The study's authors said this result held true even when the words that are spoken and read are exactly the same. They did find, however, that the addition of video does not influence evaluations beyond hearing the candidate's voice.

"In addition to communicating the contents of one's mind, like specific thoughts and beliefs, a person's speech conveys their fundamental capacity to think — the capacity for reasoning, thoughtfulness and intellect," Nicholas Epley, one of the study's authors and a University of Chicago business professor, said in a statement.

For the study, researchers asked a group of MBA student job candidates to develop a short pitch for the business they would like to work for most. They created written pitches and were videotaped reading the same pitch. [12 Best Job Search Apps ]

In one experiment, a group of evaluators judged the spoken pitches by watching and listening to the video recording, listening to the audio only or reading a transcript of the pitch. Those who heard the pitch rated the candidate as more intelligent, thoughtful and competent than the evaluators who read only a transcript of it, while those who watched the video did not rate it any differently than those who heard the pitch.

In a second experiment, evaluators listened to trained actors reading job candidates' written pitches out loud. The study's authors found that the evaluators believed those candidates were more intelligent and wanted to hire them more than the evaluators who only read the candidates' written pitches.

In addition to the evaluators used in the experiments, professional recruiters were found to be more likely to hire the candidates whose pitches they could hear.

"When conveying intelligence, it's important for one's voice to be heard — literally," Epley said.

The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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