Finding the Job: Is it Who You Know, What You Know, or How You Apply?

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Moline, Samantha
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Middle Tennessee State University
Online applications and the use of personal connections are often used to increase employment opportunities. As the prevalence of online application use increases, some companies now utilize systems that review resume content for the presence of particular applicant qualities (Chapman & Webster, 2003). Additionally, approximately half of employment opportunities are identified through informal connections (Topa, 2011). However, not all job seekers have a useful network of connections. Participants were expected to view automated resume screening systems and the use of personal connections as unfair processes. Participants were recruited from an online platform (n = 382) and documented their perceptions of fairness in relation to fictional scenarios involving various company and applicant behaviors. Screening system types were considered to be equally fair. Participants considered the use of personal connections least fair when the use of strong and direct connections led to a job offer.
Applicant, Fairness, Networking, Personal Connections, Resume Screening