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Does admissions look at "Employment History" or Resume?

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Joined: 01 Nov 2013
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Schools: CBS '16, Darden '16
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Does admissions look at "Employment History" or Resume? [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2014, 05:09
I really didn't expect to have to list the details of each job I've had in my online application. I work in the humanities in a non-business, educational setting, and even though I had professional jobs at prestigious institutions, I spent three years working for hourly wages, even as an unpaid intern at one point. I can't remember exactly what I was being paid at my first few jobs, but if list how little it was (under $15hour), I'm afraid of what this might do to my profile. I'm not applying until next year, and have ok academics (3.5, 720), but I realize little details like this could kill my chances of ever getting into the T15.

My resume is nicely tailored and looks very professional. I simply list my responsibilities, my accomplishments and how I impacted the institution, which gives the impression that I might be solid b-school material. But does admissions look more at my resume or at the employment entries in my online application?

One T15 rep told me if I couldn't remember the exact salary figures, leave the field blank and briefly explain why I did in an addendum. Little does she know I had no salary! Could I say I was being paid an hourly rate and leave it at that? The other option is to only make entries for my last few jobs and not make entries for the low paid earlier positions. But would either of these options seem suspicious?
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Re: Does admissions look at "Employment History" or Resume? [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2014, 06:21
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Hey there,

So the good news is there's a really simple answer here. The bad news is it doesn't really entertain your last statement. At all. You can't leave information like that out. Especially if you had a variety of these jobs. If you do, you'll have employment gaps all over the place. And then what would your explanation be? I wasn't working? Working hourly or at an unpaid internship is far better than that.

As to your overarching question about which they look at - the answer is both. They give the adcom different pieces of the puzzle. The employment history is an online documentation of your resume as well as the timeline of your post-graduation career. The resume is more for impact, responsibilities, scope, AND story. So it could make sense for some things to not show up on your resume (POTENTIALLY - take that one with a note of caution - there aren't many cases to justify this at your stage in life) but definitely not in your employment report. You have to enter everything. You might not love some of the jobs you've held in the past, but they're better than no job at all!

As for killing your chances - no, it won't kill your chances at the top 15. There are ways to craft a story around it that would make sense. If you don't remember salary information, you can definitely leave that blank and explain it. However, I don't see why you couldn't find that information out. Do a little digging. Worst case, take an educated guess and then explain it. One thing to note is that some applications don't have options for "type of salary" (e.g. hourly, annual, etc.) so in that case you'll have to annualize and then explain that too.

I hope that helps! You're making a mountain of a molehill - some things in life are done. You can't change that. The question is how do you make the most of your experiences going forward. Now it comes down to presentation and story!

Bhavik
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Re: Does admissions look at "Employment History" or Resume?   [#permalink] 07 Feb 2014, 06:21
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