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Work Hard or Play Hard? Degree Class, Student Leadership and Employment Opportunities

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  • Baert, Stijn

    (Ghent University)

  • Verhaest, Dieter

    (KU Leuven)

Abstract

We investigated the impact on first hiring outcomes of two main curriculum vitae (CV) characteristics by which graduates with a tertiary education degree distinguish themselves from their peers: degree class and extra-curricular activities. These characteristics were randomly assigned to 2,800 fictitious job applications that were sent to real vacancies in Belgium. Academic performance and extra-curricular engagement both enhanced job interview rates by about 7%. The effect of a higher degree class was driven by female (versus male) candidates and candidates with a master's (versus a bachelor's) degree. We did not find evidence for these CV characteristics to be substitutes or to reinforce each other's effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Baert, Stijn & Verhaest, Dieter, 2018. "Work Hard or Play Hard? Degree Class, Student Leadership and Employment Opportunities," IZA Discussion Papers 11971, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11971
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Van Belle, Eva & Caers, Ralf & Cuypers, Laure & De Couck, Marijke & Neyt, Brecht & Van Borm, Hannah & Baert, Stijn, 2020. "What do student jobs on graduate CVs signal to employers?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    2. Baert, Stijn & Picchio, Matteo, 2021. "A signal of (Train)ability? Grade repetition and hiring chances," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 188(C), pages 867-878.
    3. Piopiunik, Marc & Schwerdt, Guido & Simon, Lisa & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Skills, signals, and employability: An experimental investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    4. Sterkens, Philippe & Caers, Ralf & De Couck, Marijke & Geamanu, Michael & Van Driessche, Victor & Baert, Stijn, 2021. "Costly Mistakes: Why and When Spelling Errors in Resumes Jeopardise Interview Chances," GLO Discussion Paper Series 899, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    degree class; extra-curricular activities; hiring; field experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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