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The goal of a resume is to persuade resume screeners to offer an interview to the resume’s author (Thoms, McMasters, Roberts, & Dombkowski, 1999). Studies demonstrate resume screeners spend only 10-60 seconds reviewing resumes before reaching conclusions on whom to invite for interviews (Barnum, 1987; Weinstein, 1993). During the resume review process, resume screeners make inferences about candidates’ abilities based on resume information (Brown & Campion, 1994; Cole, Feild, Giles, & Harris, 2009). However, little explanation is provided for how information within the resume relates to the screeners' decisions for which candidates will receive interview offers. Further, few studies to date explore the cognitive mechanisms underlying screeners’ inferences. This study explored resume screeners’ decisions utilizing the framework of Uncertainty Reduction Theory (Berger & Calabrese, 1975), and identified attributional confidence, a common operationalization for uncertainty reduction, as a cognitive mechanism through which resume content influences a screener's intention to interview, demonstrating that resume screeners are motivated to reduce uncertainty and seek information in their efforts to reduce it.
Major, Michael William, "Exploring The Cognitive "black Box" Of Resume Screeners: Relationship Between Resume Content, Attributional Confidence, And Intent To Interview" (2021). Wayne State University Dissertations. 3447.