Negotiating one’s expertise through appraisal in CVs


  • Caroline Lipovsky University of Sydney



appraisal theory, attitudes, CVs, evaluation, impression management, systemic functional linguistics


This study uses empirical data to explore the linguistic features that play a role in recruiters’ impressions of job applicants. In particular, it investigates the evaluative language used by job applicants in their CV description of their professional experiences and competences. Drawing on analysis of a set of CVs collected in France that uses systemic functional linguistics, and in particular APPRAISAL theory, this study highlights the ways in which applicants appraise their skills and competences and identifies the characteristics of successful applications. The analysis reveals how CVs function as contextual metaphors by presenting recruiters with surface level descriptions of applicants’ professional experience, while infusing these descriptions at another level with evaluative meanings that aim to validate applicants’ claims of professional competence and to persuade recruiters to align with those claims and grant a job interview. This study also establishes a useful link between appraisal analysis and impression management theory.

Author Biography

Caroline Lipovsky, University of Sydney

Caroline Lipovsky is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney. She has published widely on various aspects of self-presentation in job interviews, including the monograph Negotiating Solidarity: A Social-Linguistic Approach to Job Interviews (2010). She is the co-editor (with Ahmar Mahboob) of Studies in Applied Linguistics and Language Learning (2009).


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How to Cite

Lipovsky, C. (2013). Negotiating one’s expertise through appraisal in CVs. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 8(3), 307–333.