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Center for Professional Development
63 South Main Street, 2nd Floor
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755
(603) 646-2215
Fax: (603) 646-1360
E-mail: Center for Professional Development
Recruiting Program E-mail:

Dartmouth Career Network


To assist undergraduates and other alumni in their 1) career exploration 2) job search or 3) graduate school choices by providing information on any of the following.

  • their occupation and related ones
  • their graduate school experience
  • trends in their industry/career field
  • their current and previous employers
  • re-location and cost-of-living

*Important Note:

The Career Advisor role is for information and advice, NOT to get you a job. Your role is to use this information to strategize your next steps.

Your thoughtful, considerate and appropriate use is critical to maximizing your contact with Advisors!!

Recommended Procedures

  1. Send a Letter of Introduction (* See sample below) by e-mail or postal mail. (If the alum has given their Home address, postal mail is recommended - so you can be more assured they have read your communication). Mention that you will call them by telephone within a few days to schedule a time to have your conversation.
  2. Call the Career Advisor to schedule a conversation. If calling their home, call between 6pm to 8pm - their time zone.
  3. If the Career Advisor has given their Business address, make your call during the day. If someone else answers the phone, it is important to say "Mr./Ms.____ is a Career Advisor at Dartmouth College where I am a student and he/she is expecting my call".
  4. Send a 'Thank You' to the Career Advisor a couple of days after the call. (This is not just for courtesy, but for strategic purposes - it is a discreet way to keep your name in front of them in case an opportunity comes up)

Contents of the Initial Letter/E-Mail

Paragraph #1

I obtained your name through the Dartmouth Alumni Advisory Network as I understand that you have offered to be a Career Advisor. I identified you ________(because of what? - your occupation, grad program, career field/industry, employer?). I am currently ________(what? - exploring internships, investigating occupations, considering graduate school, researching your employer, etc.?) and would like to have an Information Interview with you.

Paragraph #2

(Because you are NOT enclosing a resume, you need to summarize your interests, experiences, skills you like to use, etc. that relate to why you selected this Career Advisor.)

Paragraph #3

I will be calling you ________(if you e-mailed, then in 3-4 days; if you wrote a letter, then a week) to schedule a time to have a career conversation. I look forward to speaking with you.

By far, students who have used the AAN have been the most successful in making choices and conducting their job search!


For Career Exploration Inquiries:

•What type of projects or tasks are performed in a typical week in this job?

•What would be the top 5 skills needed to be a top performer in this job?

•What kind of credentials, education, training, prior experience are needed?

•What types of other professionals do you work with, inside and outside your organization?  (You may want more details about those related careers)?

•How was your major related to your current work?

•What was your career path that led you to your current position?

•What was the most significant contributing experience/factor to your being in this type of work?

•Are there any new trends in your profession/industry that will change the nature of job or provide new opportunities?

•What type of lifestyle does your job permit?

•How much flexibility is there in dress, work hours, place of residence, travel, etc.

•How well suited do you think my background is for this type of occupation?

•Are there other professionals to whom you can refer me who would broaden my insight regarding related types of work?

•What professional associations are recommended?

•Can you recommend any trade journals that would give me greater insight into issues/trends in the industry?


For Job Search Inquiries:

•What departments within your organization tend to hire _____(interns/entry-level)?

•Would you have the names of the heads of those departments?

•What time of the year does your employer typically look for (interview) new hires?

•What qualities does your company look for in candidates?

•What made you choose this employer?

•How would you describe the culture of the organization? (pace of work, workstyles, values, etc)

•Can you talk about the kinds of projects that new hires have worked on this past year in your own department?

•How often are new hires evaluated?

•What type of professional development/ongoing training is available?

•Where have you worked before and in what capacity?  Would any of these employers be ones I could also contact?  Do you have contact names I can use?

•What professional associations would you recommend I become a member in order to network?

•Are there trade journals that you recommend?  Do any have job postings?


For Graduate School Inquiries:

•How did you decide on this program and college/university?

•How competitive is the process of getting into the college/program you attended?

•How would you compare this program to other colleges of similar caliber?

•What key qualities did this college/university look for in candidates?

•Did your Dartmouth education prepare you fully for applying to this program?

•How would you describe the faculty advising and mentoring that was available?

•Was there a ‘practicum’ component to your program?

•Was assistance available in seeking employment after graduation?

Last Updated: 6/21/12