Off-campus WSU users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your WSU access ID and password, then click the "Off-campus Download" button below.

Non-WSU users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Loraleigh Keashly


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.

Off-campus Download