November 12, 1998
Vol. 18 No. 4

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    Web-based resources make job search easy

    By Jennifer Leovy
    News Office

    For students who are looking for their first job, a new job or contemplating a career change, Bob Riesman, Director of CAPS, Career and Placement Services, and his staff are here to make the job search easier with the help of two new tools.

    “We want to help our students imagine and envision a full range of possibilities for applying their education above and beyond what they’ve thought possible,” said Riesman.

    Through a partnership with JOBTRAK Corporation, CAPS now offers two Web-based resources to help Chicago students looking for full-time jobs. First, they can look for jobs posted on JOBTRAK by employers specifically looking to hire Chicago students. Second, if they are among the hundreds of College students enrolled in the On-Campus Recruiting Program, they can compete for interviews on JOBTRAK’s new InterviewTRAK feature.

    Riesman said students typically begin their employment pursuit with a conversation with a CAPS career counselor. Counselors provide strategies for career searches, whether students know what field they will pursue or whether they are unsure what the next step in their career should be. “Our counselors expect to help students with getting a clearer focus on their goals,” said Riesman. “Often Chicago students have diverse interests and a variety of strong talents. We help students to identify their skills and passions as we come up with a working plan for what they want to do.”

    As a next step, CAPS offers a diverse set of programs and services to help students explore their areas of interest. One popular event is Career Exploration Night, which brings alumni from a broad spectrum of careers to campus for informal, “no suits, no resumes” conversations with students. Other CAPS sessions taking place each quarter include panel discussions with alumni in fields ranging from public service to investment banking and workshops for refining resumes and strengthening interview skills. In addition to the guidance and links available through the CAPS Web site, CAPS offers an When students prepare to compete for full-time employment after graduation, the importance of the resources available through JOBTRAK becomes clear. Since its founding in 1987, more than 300,000 employers have used JOBTRAK to post job listings. Employers pay a fee to list job openings for their target audience–students or alumni from specific universities that the employers want to attract. The service is free to all Chicago students and alumni.

    “Essentially, JOBTRAK has taken the traditional bulletin board and made it electronic,” said Riesman. Job postings are listed by employer or by category and can be searched with any number of qualifiers such as amount of experience, location and type of organization. There is a broad range of opportunities, and the average number of listings for Chicago students doubled from 1,000 per month in 1997 to 2,000 in 1998.

    The listings are updated regularly and continue to increase. Riesman noted that a considerable number of non-profit, governmental and educational listings have been added in the past year.

    Students reap other benefits from the convenience and efficiency of JOBTRAK. Unlike a regular bulletin board posting or newspaper job listing, JOBTRAK provides one-stop shopping for both job offerings and employer research.

    Students can view employer profiles via Internet links posted in the job descriptions.

    “Students can search the database at their leisure, 24-hours a day, rather than working around their demanding schedules and our office hours,” said Riesman.

    “And students are showing us their preferences. Nearly 20 percent of our Web site activity takes place between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.”

    InterviewTRAK, an off-shoot of JOBTRAK, is the latest online tool for scheduling that much-longed-for event, the interview. Not all companies interview on campus, but for those who do, InterviewTRAK has been a success. “InterviewTRAK is mainly used by larger corporations that can project a year ahead of time what their needs are for entry-level openings,” said Kirsten Weber, Associate Director for Recruitment.

    “These employers often include investment banking, management consulting and financial services firms. Their economies of scale allow them to afford and justify on-campus recruitment. And historically, they are extremely successful finding qualified applicants from Chicago.”

    For students and employers participating in the On-Campus Recruiting Program, InterviewTRAK is often the first place they meet.

    Employers use InterviewTRAK to submit job descriptions for their on-campus interviews. Students review these listings online and submit their cover letters and resumes if they wish to be considered for an interview.

    Once the employers have evaluated the candidates, they use InterviewTRAK to notify those students they wish to interview. Students can then schedule themselves online for an interview.

    “We were a beta site for this service last year, and it has been well-received by both students and employers,” said Weber.

    JOBTRAK and InterviewTRAK can be found through the CAPS Web site at http://caps1.uchicago.edu.