The impact of sports participation and gender on inferences drawn from resumes

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Although the inferences that recruiters and hiring managers draw from resumes have a significant impact on organizations and the job prospects of applicants, very little is known about the factors that influence these judgments. This is particularly true for collegiate athletes whose resumes might lack obvious job-related experiences. This study experimentally manipulated the effects of three factors -type of collegiate sport participated in, membership or leadership in collegiate sports, and gender of the applicant – on inferences drawn from resumes by raters. Results showed that raters inferred greater teamwork skills of applicants based upon the type of sport in which the athlete participated. Additionally, applicants who had been team captains were rated higher overall as well as on leadership skills. Finally, female athletes were rated as more likeable and well-rounded than male athletes, and as having stronger teamwork skills than male athletes with similar resumes. Implications of these findings are discussed.