Employer Pet Peeves

Our on-campus interviews rooms are filled with students and employers this time of year. In addition to extending invitations for further interviews and potential job offers, many employers leave behind valuable insight you can learn from — feedback!

The following feedback comes from an employer that’s been recruiting at Dartmouth for many years. We asked them to share their pet peeves, as well as a short overview of their experience this year:

We received 150+ resumes from Dartmouth. We have to narrow this pool of applicants down to less than 25.  The easiest way for us to do that is to overlook applicants with simple/careless mistakes such as the following:

  • Salutation of cover letter is addressed to one company, and body of letter has been updated for our company.  But we’re “one of the top companies that you want to work for.”
  • If you are going to recycle your cover letter from your summer internship application, don’t leave in the sentence that you are a junior and looking for a summer position – my first response is, then why are you applying to our full-time position?
  • Transcript errors – when they print off the transcript from banner web, it’s too long. Unofficial transcript means type it out in word in an easy to read format and then PROOFREAD!
  • If we’ve got 2-3 documents from each candidate, do the math for how many pages we have to read in ~5 days, on top of our full time jobs.  We don’t want a 5 page transcript or 2 page resume.  Condense to 1 page for each document required.
  • BUT, if you’ve got a page to fill, then fill it.  A one paragraph cover letter or a short resume stands out!

So there you have it: A short list of things not to do that will improve your chances of getting in for an interview — and landing a job offer. All of the things you can do are simple — and should take you less than 30 minutes to get right.

  • Customize your cover letter.
  • Research the employer.
  • Provide a one page transcript that is easy to read. Instructions on how to do this can be found here.

Have additional questions? Want help preparing. Stop by Career Services for a Drop-In appointment, available Monday through Friday, 1:30 to 4:00 pm.


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