Jul 04, 2023

Tuck Admissions Insights: Employment History, Common Applicant Questions

By Kristin Roth
Associate Director of Admissions, Evaluation

Kristin Roth

When we evaluate the Employment History section of your application, the Admission Committee looks at the quality and quantity of your post-undergraduate experience to better understand how you meet “accomplished,” one of our four Admissions criteria.

Below I share what information we hope to learn about you and answer some common applicant questions about the Employment History section of the application. This is not high-level advice on how to demonstrate our accomplished criterion (for that, please read this blog post), but rather tactical guidance on what information to provide.

Description of your organization

Our team is very familiar with many employers, but we don’t know all the organizations in the world. Help us understand what your employer does. We want a basic overview here; a few sentences explaining what your firm does is sufficient. It is also okay to copy and paste a brief summary from your organization’s marketing materials or other credible sources. If you work at a large, well-known firm, please use this section to tell us more about your division.

Description of your responsibilities

In this section, we are looking for a few sentences (or bullet points) outlining your work responsibilities. Make this a very brief overview of your job description. You will probably not have enough space to list all your responsibilities, so focus on the most critical parts of your job. You will likely find a list of your responsibilities in the job description your organization has for your role. Note that this is different than the bullet points on your resume, which should highlight achievements and accomplishments versus simply listing responsibilities.

Reason for leaving, if applicable

We want to give you ample opportunity to explain your career progression and the why behind your transitions. What led you away from one employer towards another? When you explain the thread that ties your transitions together you show us the intentionality behind your career choices. Help us understand the motivations underlying any career changes. We encourage you to go beyond stating “Left to join company X.” Tell us why you chose to move to company X.

Starting Position, Ending Position, and Other Positions Held

We ask this so that you can show us your professional progression with your employer(s). If you’ve had several employers, it might be difficult to list all positions on your resume. This section allows you to highlight progression by listing all positions at each employer, including intermediate positions. For example, if you’ve held three roles within an organization, list your first role for Starting Position, your second role for Other Positions Held, and your most recent role for Ending Position.

Commonly Asked Questions about Positions:

“Should I list an internship as a Starting Position? I interned with my current employer while still completing my undergraduate degree and received and accepted a full-time offer to return.”

While we acknowledge that you may have worked while completing your degree, we are looking for evidence of your accomplishments in your post-undergraduate work experience.

“There is no change in title between my starting and ending position. Am I at a disadvantage?”
Not at all! We consider progression within a firm, but we also understand that it may take longer to formally progress with some employers or within particular industries. If that is the case for you, don’t worry. We will look at whether your responsibilities, impact, and/or leadership increased over time. We will also look at salary progression.

Starting Compensation, Ending Compensation, and Annual Bonus

Why do we ask this? Salary information demonstrates progress within a firm beyond your title. It also provides us with additional insight into your level of responsibility.

Commonly Asked Questions about Compensation:

“My work offers me a high level of responsibility but does not pay as much. Am I at a disadvantage?”
We understand that different fields have different pay scales. An applicant earning a high salary in a lucrative industry is not categorically stronger than an applicant earning a modest salary in a less lucrative role. In some cases, salary information can be helpful when we evaluate candidates from well-represented industries, employers, or geographic regions.

“I work outside of the United States and my salary is not in US Dollars. How should I report it?”
Please report your salary in your local currency. Your salary will automatically be converted to US Dollars using the daily exchange rate. We recognize that fluctuating currency rates can cause a converted salary to inaccurately reflect your true salary progression.

Our goal is to better understand your professional progression as we assess how you demonstrate the accomplished criterion. As you review the guidelines above, remember to be concise and confident in describing your professional experiences!

Learn More About Applying to Tuck