JPMorgan recruiter reveals 5 common job hunting mistakes to avoid

If you're one of the tens of thousands of people applying to the company each year, avoid these obvious blunders

Portia Crowe
Monday 07 March 2016 18:40
JPMorgan's head of experienced and campus recruiting has revealed applicants' most common mistakes
JPMorgan's head of experienced and campus recruiting has revealed applicants' most common mistakes

Wall Street jobs and internships are extremely tough to score, and JPMorgan is no exception.

That firm receives tens of thousands of applications for internships every year.

So if you're one of those people, you definitely want to avoid making any big, obvious mistakes.

JPMorgan's head of experienced and campus recruiting, Michelle Bucaria, has seen it all.

She's held multiple human resources positions at JPMorgan, and worked on the front lines of campus recruiting early on in her career in the 1990s.

Bucaria told us about some of the most common mistakes that she and her recruiters encounter.

No typos on the résumé!

"Read it," Bucaria said.

Seriously, you'd think this would be a given. But according to Bucaria, "It's reasonably common — more than you think."

The last thing you want to do in investment banking is look sloppy.

Don't be too narrow with your "objective" on the résumé.

It's not a bad idea to clearly state your objective at the top of your résumé. But you need to be really careful about it. You don't want to inadvertently state an objective that doesn't describe the program you're applying to.

The most common mistake here is that students will say they want to work "in investment banking." That indicates to recruiters that they have no interest in the finance program, the commercial bank, or any other program except for the investment banking division. But in reality, that's often not the case!

"That can dismiss you when you didn't even mean to be dismissed," Bucaria said.

Don't forget to speak to recruiters before the résumé drop.

Most investment banks hold events and presentations on campuses long before it's time for students to actually submit applications. The idea is for students to ask lots of questions about the firms, get to know some recruiters, and schedule some informational interviews.

But if you go to an event and just listen, Bucaria said, "Nobody’s walked away with any other different impression of you than when you came in."

She said a big part of the evaluation comes before résumés are even submitted, when students are at events or interacting with the company and doing informational interviews.

"Make sure you're asking questions — be inquisitive," she said.

(But also beware of over-talking at campus events — nobody likes an attention hog.)

Save yourself some embarrassment at the interview stage by not overstating anything on your résumé.

At the interview stage, Bucaria said, one common issue she encounters is a breakdown in communication where students aren't able to concisely articulate the contributions that they've made. You need to walk to the line between being too arrogant and too humble.

But what's worse is when students aren't able to really talk about something on their résumé because it was totally overstated in the first place.

"Sometimes it becomes apparent that something on the résumé seems a little bit better than what you hear in the actual story," Bucaria said. "And somebody might fall down there."

Don't forget to read up before for your interview so that you can wow them with great questions.

You want to ask pointed, well-researched questions in your interview.

The questions you ask in your interviews will indicate how much you've prepared.

"You can't just come in and ask, 'Tell me about investment banking,'" Bucaria said. "You have to demonstrate that you've done a decent amount of your own research and have thoughtful questions that you want to get answers to."

Some examples might be:

'I was reading in the news about JPMorgan's Investor Day, and I saw that Daniel Pinto talked about X. I didn't understand all of the nuances of it, what are the implications for the division I'm applying to?'

'I understand that this is a rotational program. I read the description but it wasn’t clear to me if I would actually have the opportunity to rotate through the consumer side of the bank too?'

'What are the opportunities for mobility? I know JPMorgan is great for mobility, they’ve got opportunities all over the world, how does that actually play out within the corporate analyst development program that I’m looking at?'

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