Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 573–591 | Cite as

Effects of Applicant Personality on Resume Evaluations

  • Gary N. Burns
  • Neil D. Christiansen
  • Megan B. Morris
  • David. A. Periard
  • John A. Coaster



This study examined the extent that personality information in resumes impacts hiring judgments through applicant’s resumes. Study 1 examined lay theories regarding relationships between resume cues and the applicant’s personality and hireability. Study 2 examined how the applicant’s personality impacted hiring judgments through resumes.


Data for both studies were collected in the context of a managerial position. For Study 1, participants assessed resume cues in regards to their relationship with personality and hireability. For Study 2, Human Resource personnel evaluated each resume in regards to personality and hireability.


Results for Study 1 highlight several connections between applicants’ personality and resumes, with strong links between resume content and perceptions of conscientiousness and agreeableness. Results for Study 2 indicate that personality was largely unrelated to ratings of hireability but perceptions of personality were strongly linked to hireability; actual personality was linked to the variability in cue information related to hireability, and conscientiousness was indirectly related to hireability through judgments of conscientiousness.


Results from these studies suggest that personality and perceptions of personality play a greater role in resume development and screening than has been previously suggested. The pattern of results reported suggest that there are a number of resumes cues that accurately reflect an applicant’s personality and influence perceptions of hireability.


By taking an exploratory approach, the current studies were able to explore a large variety of cues linked to personality and ratings of hireability. Results have implications for both applicants and HR personnel evaluating resumes.


Applicant personality Personality judgment Resume Selection 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary N. Burns
    • 1
  • Neil D. Christiansen
    • 2
  • Megan B. Morris
    • 1
  • David. A. Periard
    • 1
  • John A. Coaster
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWright State UniversityDaytonUSA
  2. 2.Central Michigan UniversityMount PleasantUSA

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