Date of Award

May 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

C. Erik Timmerman

Committee Members

Erin M. Parcell, Lindsay M. Timmerman, Sang-yeon Kim


Career Information Seeking, Job Advertisement, Job Search, Uncertainty Management


Securing talented employees is one of the most critical requirements for organizational growth. At the same time, job seekers’ primary concern is getting a position that is in line with their career goals. Particularly, for job seekers who are looking to begin their career after graduation, it is essential to step off on the right foot. To fulfill the needs of organization and job applicant, job advertisements play a significant role. The current study examines the use and perceptions of hiring information by job seekers. The job search and organizational entry processes necessarily produce a certain degree of uncertainty, and job advertisements are one of the key contributors in that process. According to uncertainty management theory, uncertainty results in optimistic or pessimistic emotion about the source of uncertainty, and the elicited emotions influence additional information seeking behavior. Likewise, uncertainty in job search processes may impact job seekers’ efforts in seeking additional information. Thus, the present investigation examines the impact of uncertainty, which originates from job advertisements, on job seekers’ subsequent uncertainty appraisal and information seeking. In addition, the study investigates influences of three factors, such as proactive personality, person-organization (P-O) fit, and job search stress, on job seekers’ appraisals of uncertainty. A web-based experiment was conducted using three different hypothetical job advertisements that varied in degree of uncertainty they were designed to induce. Data were collected from a sample of university students (N = 396) to evaluate the degree to which the advertisement impacted their job-related information searching and perceptions. The results revealed that uncertainty appraisals predict job seekers’ subsequent information seeking intention in that optimistic views about uncertainty negatively associate with the intention to seek information. In addition, job seekers with optimistic views are more likely to seek positive information about the hiring organization. Proactive personality, subjective P-O fit, and job search stress were also identified as significant factors that influence job seekers’ appraisals of uncertainty. In sum, the current study found that job seekers’ uncertainty appraisals influenced by triadic reciprocal relationships of personal factor, behavioral cognitions, and environmental factors, and the uncertainty appraisals relate back to further information seeking.

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