Students’ job hunts expands to the Web

MonsterTrak boasts 1.2 million posted resumes, while large employers are using keyword searches to find employees.

Drew Geraets

A company offered University student Jen Parshley an internship working with rock stars after she posted her resume online.

The job would have required the journalism senior to ensure bands’ promotional items were environmentally friendly.

But Parshley turned down the position because of a lack of transportation.

The offer came after she posted her resume on Monster.com, the largest job site on the Internet.

“It’s helpful if I want to look in California or Boston,” she said. “Then, if they like me we can set up a meeting.”

Experts said Parshley is a part of a growing population.

MonsterTrak – a division of Monster.com that focuses on college students – boasts 1.2 million posted resumes.

Today’s technology allows students to share their resumes with more employers with greater ease, said Becky Hall, central coordinator for career development with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

“When I first started, it was clunky,” said Hall, who has advised students for about seven years. “Now, it’s really spread. Everything is pretty much done online.”

Large employers are also using keyword searches to sift through resumes that jobseekers submit online, according to a Boston College Web site.

The searches can look for achievements and past job titles, or find people with specific skills, such as knowledge of certain computer languages, according to the site.

Companies embraced searchable databases about three years ago, said Heather Lintner, a human resources instructor at the Carlson School of Management.

“There’s a need to meet federal requirements to recruit a more diverse workforce,” she said. “Job boards can attract more people and make them easier to track.”

But, Parshley said, the emergence of searchable databases might threaten a resume’s uniqueness if all the applicants try to include the same keywords.

Despite concerns, Parshley said she still cautiously uses the Internet for her job search.

When using online resources, Parshley said, she typically excludes her address and phone number to prevent identity theft and spam.

“The biggest question for me is: ‘Can I trust the provider?’ ” she said.

Hall said students should use the online resources in their own schools and departments. That way, companies can target students they want to hire based on their interests and educational background.

Hall said students should pursue face-to-face networking after they post their resume and research openings online.

“So many people have become passive,” Hall said. “They think, ‘It’s out there, I’ve done my job and now I don’t have to do anything.’ “

Lintner said the Internet can only take students so far.

“It doesn’t hurt to go back to the old fashioned way – call up a company,” Lintner said. “The closer you can get to human touch the better the chance of getting a job.”