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The Future of Finding Work

For many college upperclassmen, searching for a postgraduate job or summer internship while still trying to keep up with classes and other activities can be an exhausting and time-consuming process.

This year, however, Princeton students have been saving time and effort by applying for jobs via the Web with the help of eRecruiting.com, an online recruiting management program.

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The software, which allows students to manage resumes and other documents and schedule on-campus interviews with employers, was installed for campus use last summer, according to director of career services Beverly Hamilton-Chandler.

"Princeton didn't have a Web-based system that allows students access to the job descriptions," she said. "Students needed to come over to our office, look through binders and read descriptions, and send cover letters and resumes on their own.

"It's also a hassle for the students to have to get here between the hours of 9 and 5 when we're open," she added.

When students first log in to eRecruiting.com, they create a profile. By gathering information about students' career interests, majors and geographical preferences, the career services office is able to set up a distribution list by interest area, Hamilton-Chandler said.

When a job that would be of interest to a particular group of students becomes available, she said, "we could not only post that on eRecruiting, but we could also send an e-mail to students letting them know that this is something they're interested in."

Application process

Once logged in, students have access to several important features. They are able to upload important documents such as resumes, cover letters and writing samples and save them to their personal accounts. Students can also scan transcripts into the computer and save them on a disk from the career services office.

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Once these documents are uploaded, students can apply to posted jobs by sending the documents electronically to companies. Other features allow students to search posted jobs and to view upcoming career center events.

Currently, 1,188 Princeton students, both graduate and undergraduate, have logged in to eRecruiting.com at least once, according to Judd Hark, systems coordinator for career services.

"It has just worked beautifully," Hamilton-Chandler said. "Students have been very positive about it. [They] seem to have no difficulty using it."

Alicia Clarke '01, who has received an offer for a summer internship using eRecruiting, said she liked the system because it was well-organized and easy to use. "It saves a lot of time and money," she said. "It's nice to do everything online."

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Clarke also said she liked not having to wait for prospective employers to call her back. "It's really good that you don't have to play phone tag with people," she said.

However, Clarke said she felt that career services needed to make students more aware of the system. "They never told us you had to use eRecruiting until some of the deadlines had passed," she said.

Aleem Remtula '01 said he liked the fact that eRecruiting made it easier to apply for jobs. "I found it helpful mainly because I was so stressed during midterm week and I don't think I would have been able to apply to a lot of these companies," he said.

Remtula said he thinks eRecruiting made the job market more competitive by making it easier for students to apply to more companies. "A lot of people who weren't sure if they were interested in investment banking or consulting decided to apply [for investment banking positions] because it was so easy and they had nothing to lose," he said.

Hamilton-Chandler said career services hoped to use eRecruiting to attract employers who have not typically recruited on campus.

"This is not just to manage the standard-fare firms that we get," she said. "It's really to help us kind of move on to the next step."

Harvard origins

The eRecruiting.com software was developed three years ago by a trio of Harvard University juniors. While searching for work in their career services office, Phuc Truong, Seth Sternglanz and Wellie Chao became frustrated with the large amount of paperwork and the limited office hours that were part of the traditional recruiting process. After developing eRecruiting.com, Truong, Sternglanz and Chao founded Crimson Solutions, Inc.

Last month Crimson Solutions merged with Ivy Productions, Inc., a provider of research and publications for college students about to enter the work force, forming experience inc.

"[Truong, Sternglanz and Chao] were trying to apply to a job and when they went to their career services, it was after five [p.m.], and they realized they had missed the deadline," said Joby Daddona, client service manager at experience inc. "They thought there had to be a better way for them to access the information."

She added, "They basically started the company out of their dorm room."

Hamilton-Chandler said that in the future students may even see the use of online interviews in the recruiting process. "I think it's just a matter of time before we use something like that," she said, adding that the software is "clearly on its way to offering online interviews for some organizations that want it."

Hamilton, however, stressed that online interviews would not necessarily take the place of a campus interview.

"It allows individuals probably to do some screening interviews before bringing an individual to a particular site," she said. "Is this going to take the place of all on-campus recruiting? No, I don't think so."

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