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January 1998

Purdue's Krannert School hones Web placement

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The World Wide Web is revolutionizing the way corporations recruit from business schools, and Purdue's Krannert Graduate School of Management is ready.

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Students at Krannert and business schools across the country can conduct many elements of a job search -- researching companies, comparing regional salaries, and sending cover letters and resumes -- all from a campus computer lab.

The Krannert graduate student placement office Web site offers recruiters on-line access to the resume and e-mail link of every graduate student currently enrolled. And for the students, there is an exclusive resume delivery system, conceived and administered by graduate assistant James Gordon, of San Diego, Calif. It sends resumes to all companies that a student selects from a data base of 1,600 corporations that accept resumes electronically. That's one of the features, according to Alan Ferrell, director of management placement, that sets the Krannert page apart from others.

"The on-line resumes and the electronic resume delivery system are extremely effective and efficient," Ferrell says. "It saves the students processing time and printing and mailing costs; it has already cut by a third the costs of creating traditional resume books, and it saves the companies money on their end, too. Most of them have a data base set up to receive the resumes and no longer have to key in information or handle the paper copies."

Ferrell also has an ulterior motive for the Krannert placement Web page: He's fine-tuning it for use in the inevitable employment downturn.

"The Web will be crucial for students and recruiters when the demand for graduate students takes a cyclical downturn," he says. "Right now, demand is high and recruiters are making the customary face-to-face campus visits. When the market tightens, so does the corporate recruiting budget, and that limits those trips. I predict that's when Web placement will hits its stride."

Jim Shunk, college recruiting manager for Hewlett-Packard Co., agrees. "A downturn is inevitable, and placement Web pages will be great equalizers," he says. "Students at smaller schools will have access to the same companies as students at larger universities. And organizations like Krannert will have a well-honed, easily accessible Web tool in the ready."

Krannert's data base, which can be searched by industry and geography, mostly contains companies that don't visit the Purdue campus. The Web page also features a separate section for international job searches. Because of visa restrictions, international students are not always eligible for on-campus interviews. The worldwide outreach of the Web site is particularly useful for them.

Commercial resume banks and information services also are available on the site. For example, students have access to Hoover's in-depth, on-line company profiles and a listing of nonprofit agency job postings. Both on-line services and most of the resume bank postings are free to students.

Corporate recruiters like the Web page too. Ferrell says he hears feedback from those who use the Web page to view and download resumes, post job openings, plan campus visits and communicate directly with students.

Shunk says on-line services are essential tools for effective placement offices. "A user-friendly Web page is not really a competitive edge anymore. It's a must," he says. "The use of the Internet for college recruiting is growing astronomically. People such as myself prefer the Web to the hundreds of resume books that we receive each year. And we appreciate the cost savings of electronic cover letters and resumes. They are just much cheaper to process."

Krannert students also can access a wealth of job search information, including tips on interviewing from alumni and a searchable alumni data base. Other features on the Web site include a job posting section for alumni, which, according to Ferrell, is a growing area of demand in most university career services offices.

The next step for Ferrell and his team is to begin measuring the effectiveness of on-line placement. "We are just now to the point where we can track outcomes of contacts made via the Web site," he says. "By this time next year, we should have some solid data on the effectiveness of our Web efforts."

The Krannert Graduate School of Management placement office Web address is: http://www3.mgmt.purdue.edu/mpo/

Sources: Alan Ferrell, (765) 494-4376; e-mail, ferrell@mgmt.purdue.edu
Jim Shunk, (650) 857-4520
Writer: Kate Walker, (765) 494-2072; e-mail, kate_walker@purdue.edu
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail, purduenews@purdue.edu

PHOTO CAPTION:
Mike Sinnott (right), data and Web administrator in Purdue's Krannert Graduate School of Management, and graduate assistant Jim Gordon always are looking for ways to make Krannert's placement Web site a valuable tool for students. (Purdue News Service Photo by David Umberger)
Color photo, electronic transmission, and Web and ftp download available. Photo ID: Ferrell/Webplace


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