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Do I Look Like Someone Who Cares? Recruiters’ Ratings of Applicants’ Paid and Volunteer Experience


  • Author Note:

    Preliminary versions of this manuscript were presented at the annual meetings of the Administration Sciences Association of Canada, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, May 2008, and the Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2009.


Despite the widespread use of resumes, little is known about whether recruiters value applicants’ volunteer experience, and if they value some kinds of volunteer experience more than others. Based on a sample of recruiters (n = 135) who each rated a series of resumes with different amounts and types of paid and volunteer experience, our results suggest that recruiters prefer resumes with relevant experience, and resumes with a combination of volunteer and paid experience. Our results did not suggest significant differences in the ratings given to paid or volunteer experience. We discuss the implications of these findings for researchers and practitioners, with specific advice for human resource professionals and applicants.