Does feedback matter for job search self-regulation? It depends on feedback quality

Nitya Chawla, Allison S. Gabriel, Serge P. da Motta Veiga, Jerel E. Slaughter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Job search represents a dynamic process through which job seekers must consistently engage in effective self-regulation. Although scholars have increasingly begun to theorize and conceptualize the job search in this manner, little is known about what fosters effective self-regulation week-to-week. In light of this theoretical gap, we integrate self-regulation theory with the feedback literature to examine how feedback quality influences affective, cognitive, and behavioral regulatory processes in job search. Furthermore, we examine feedback self-efficacy (i.e., how efficacious a job seeker feels with respect to processing and implementing feedback received during the job search) as a stable, person-level moderator of these within-person relationships. In a sample of job seekers surveyed once a week for seven weeks, results indicate that receiving high-quality feedback has a direct influence on positive and negative affective reactions tied to the job search, influencing subsequent positive (i.e., metacognitive strategies) and negative (i.e., affective rumination) cognitive processes. Metacognitive strategies, in turn, impact both the number of résumés sent and hours spent job seeking each week. Moreover, lower feedback self-efficacy amplifies the relationship between feedback quality and negative affective reactions. Our results highlight the importance of high-quality feedback in helping job seekers effectively regulate week-to-week.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-541
Number of pages29
JournalPersonnel Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • feedback
  • job search
  • self-efficacy
  • self-regulation
  • weekly study


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