Students Find Careers on the Web
Many Haverford students claim that it's quicker and easier to find and procure jobs by using the college's career development Web site.
Students now have 24-hour access to the career development office, more contact with international and West coast employers and constantly updated job listings.
However, the Web site isn't just designed to give students more information. It's intended to "organize and simplify the overwhelming maze of information that's out there," says associate director of career development Amy Feifer.
The Web site helps focus the students' attention on different phases of a job search. It includes services like "Experience.com," a comprehensive index of various career descriptions, that educate the students about the realities of different jobs and provide direction to the rest of the job search. Lists of externships and internships give more detailed accounts of career fields.
For those ready to actively interview with employers, the Web site provides schedules of job fairs, workshops, on- and off-campus interviews and application deadlines. And to contact potential employers, students no longer need to hassle with the time and expenses of producing resumes.
"There's no longer a need to buy resume supplies and spend time printing out resumes and letters," says Brett Danaher'00. "I simply upload resumes to the companies that I want to receive them."
Many students report logging on to the Web site at least once or twice each week, in order to keep up with constantly changing information about job listings, various corporations and the career development office's list of about 1,600 internships.
Alumni and students abroad have access to the career development resources via the Internet as well. Feifer says that the career development office is assisting more alumni in job searches each year. She believes that with the Web site's ever-improving resources, such as an on-line newsletter of jobs for alumni, this trend probably will continue.
On-line resources have become increasingly popular among employers as well as career development offices at colleges and universities. More employers now collect resumes online. They also recruit candidates via e-mail and create intricate Web pages to keep potential employees apprised of news and events.
Feifer says that the career development office will survey employers to see how the Internet has affected their recruiting.
The myriad of available on-line services leaves students pondering, "Can the Internet address all of our career development needs?"
"I don't think there's any substitute for personal connections and advice from people you know and respect," says Majka Ordman'00, who started her job search online.
Brett Danaher, who parlayed his on-line search into a job with the Vanguard Group's business leadership development program, believes that career development counselors remain a vital part of the process. "Once you take advantage of their expertise and think of creative ways to pursue your goals, then you can use the Web site's resources to find firms that match your needs," says Danaher.
Feifer says that resumes are most effective when sent to someone with whom a student has had personal contact. She warns against only using the Internet, a practice that she calls "a passive way of looking for a job." "It's still extremely important for students to personalize the job search and build face-to-face relationships," she says. "The Internet is part of the search, not the search itself."
Internships, externships, alumni contacts, mock interviews and job fairs remain significant parts of the job search and depend on human interaction, according to Feifer. "Employers who have had formal relationships for years with Haverford still devote time to maintaining the human interactions with the students," she says.
Lauren Smith'00 utilized the Web site's resources to acquire a job as a management consultant with Andersen Consulting in Philadelphia. Speaking from her own job search experience, Smith, a mathematics major, says, "The on-line technology certainly helps, but there are so many other personal aspects of our career development that we can't do without."