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The Daily

Study: Voice More Impressive than Writing to Potential Employers

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Oct 8, 2015
By Rob Knight from Manchester, UK (Tom Watson MP) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsIn this year of 2015, we communicate in a staggering variety of ways. We text, we chat, we email. We use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat. Sometimes we even blog. But, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review, when it comes to impressing a potential employer, the best tool to use is one of the oldest that we have: our voice. 

Researchers have found that intelligence comes across most clearly when we speak, as opposed to when we write. This conclusion is based on a series of experiments where people would argue for why they deserve a job, both through writing and video, and others would evaluate how intelligent they found the subject, rating them on a scale of 1-10. Time after time, the researchers found subjects were rated higher when their video or audio pitches were used, versus when they made the same argument through writing. They were rated as more intelligent, more likable, and more likely to be hired.

Testing to see whether their results could be applied outside a university setting, researchers asked actual recruiters from companies such as Microsoft and Goldman Sachs to take part in the same experiment and, just like before, they too rated higher those who made their pitches via video or audio, versus those who made it via writing. 

Of course, before getting ready to ditch the resume for a link to a video of you talking about why you think you'd be a good fit at a firm, maybe first do some research on the company and see whether such a thing would even be taken seriously there. Certain companies may have a culture where sending a video could be seen as a sign of being tech savvy and forward thinking. Other companies, however, may view it as frivolous and overly formal, in which case maybe stick with writing.