Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 33–45 | Cite as

Impressions of the resume: The effects of applicant education, experience, and impression management

  • Stephen B. Knouse


Business persons each read a hypothetical variation of a resume arrayed in a 2 (relevant versus irrelevant education) × 2 (relevant versus irrelevant job experience) × 2 (impression management versus no impression management statements) factorial design and completed a survey on their perceptions. Results showed that relevant education produced more positive perceptions of competence, potential, and predicted salary, while relevant experience enhanced perceptions of competence, potential, self-confidence, and background checking. Education and experience interacted on several variables. Impression management produced positive perceptions of interpersonal skill, self-confidence, and hireability. Implications for writing resumes were discussed.


Social Psychology Factorial Design Social Issue Management Statement Positive Perception 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baron, R. A. (1986). Self-presentation in job interviews: When there can be “too much of a good thing”.Journal of Applied Psychology, 16, 16–28.Google Scholar
  2. Broussard, R. D., & Brannen, D. E. (1986). Credential distortions.Personnel Administrator, 31(6), 129–146.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Dipboye, R. L., Arvey, R. D., & Terpstra, D. E. (1977). Sex and physical attractiveness of raters and applicants as determinants of resume credentials.Journal of Applied Psychology, 69, 288–294.Google Scholar
  4. Feild, H. S., & Holley, W. H. (1976). Resume preparation: An empirical study of personnel managers' perceptions.Vocational Guidance Quarterly, 24, 229–237.Google Scholar
  5. Feldman, D. C., & Klich, N. R. (1991). Impression management and career strategies. In R. A. Giacalone & P. Rosenfeld (Eds.),Applied impression management: How imagemaking affects managerial decisions (pp. 67–80). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  6. Gardner, W. L., & Martinko, M. J. (1988). Impression management in organizations.Journal of Management, 14, 321–338.Google Scholar
  7. Gilmore, D. C., & Ferris, G. R. (1989). The effects of applicant impression management tactics on interviewer judgments.Journal of Management, 15, 557–564.Google Scholar
  8. Huberty, C. J., & Morris, J. D. (1989). Multivariate analysis versus multiple univariate analysis.Psychological Bulletin, 105, 302–308.Google Scholar
  9. Hutchinson, K. L. (1984). Personnel administrators' preferences for resume content.Journal of Business Communication, 21, 5–14.Google Scholar
  10. Knouse, S. B. (1989a). Letters of recommendation and impression management. In R. A. Giacalone & P. Rosenfeld (Ed.),Impression management in the organization (pp. 283–296). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  11. Knouse, S. B. (1989b). The role of attribution theory in personnel employment selection: A review of the recent literature.Journal of General Psychology, 116, 183–196.Google Scholar
  12. Knouse, S. B., Giacalone, R. A., & Pollard, H. (1988). Impression management in the resume and its cover letter.Journal of Business and Psychology, 3, 242–249.Google Scholar
  13. Leary, M. R., & Kowalski, R. M. (1990). Impression management: A literature review and two-component model.Psychological Bulletin, 107, 34–47.Google Scholar
  14. Oliphant, V. N., & Alexander, E. R. (1982). Reactions to resumes as a function of resume determinateness, applicant characteristics, and sex of raters.Personnel Psychology, 35, 829–842.Google Scholar
  15. Pibal, D. C. (1985). Criteria for effective resumes as perceived by personnel directors.Personnel Administrator, 30(5), 119–123.Google Scholar
  16. Rasmussen, K. G. (1984). Nonverbal behavior, verbal behavior, resume credentials, and selection interview outcomes.Journal of Applied Psychology, 69, 551–556.Google Scholar
  17. Schlenker, B. R. (1980).Impression management. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  18. Schneider, B., & Schmitt, N. (1986).Staffing organizations (2nd Ed.). Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman.Google Scholar
  19. Spinks, N., & Wells, B. (1987). Letters of application and resumes: A comparison of corporate views.Bulletin of the American Business Communication Association, 50(3), 9–16.Google Scholar
  20. von Baeyer, C., Sherk, D. L., & Zanna, M. P. (1981). Impression management in the job interview.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 7, 45–51.Google Scholar
  21. Wyant, J., & Vise, R. (1979). Resume writing.Special Libraries, 70, 328–332.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen B. Knouse
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ManagementUniversity of Southwestern LouisianaLafayette

Personalised recommendations