The impact of raters' level and type of sports experiences on inferences drawn from resumes

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The inferences that recruiters and hiring managers draw from resumes have a significant impact on organizations and the job prospects of the applicants. Little is known, however, about the rater life experiences that inlluence these judgments for candidates who have played collegiate sports. This study examines how the level and type of sports experiences (individual or team-based sports) of resume reviewers impact their perceptions of the resumes of collegiate athletes. Results showed that raters with more participation in sports gave higher ratings to the job qualifications of applicants who were collegiate athletes; however, the rater level of organized sports experiences (high school versus college) was not related to overall job ratings. Contrary to the hypotheses, for both overall skills and team skills, raters who participated in strictly team-based sports rated collegiate athletes lower on overall and team skills than did raters who participated in a combination of individual and team or in totally individual sports. The findings on rater confidence in their ratings was mixed. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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