Negotiating one’s expertise through appraisal in CVs
Keywords: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.
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