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OCS Rescinds Policy Of On-Line Recruiting

* Seniors return to submitting resumes on paper

By Caille M. Millner, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Two weeks after it decided to require seniors jockeying for jobs in the business world to submit their resumes and cover letters over the Internet, the Office of Career Services (OCS) yesterday did an about-face.

OCS opted to revert back to paper submission of students' personal information-two days before the first application deadline of the season.

"We had probably overestimated the desire of the students to go on-line," said William Wright-Swadel, director of career services for OCS. "We were moving a little too fast, and now we're trying to slow down."

The move is a dramatic reversal of OCS's earlier decision to use the On-line Recruiting System, a Web-based package designed by Harvard students.

While students will still be able to browse company fact sheets and register on-line, they will submit resumes, cover letters and transcripts to OCS instead of sending them to companies via computer.

OCS's chief concern was the difficulty students may have faced when using the on-line system.

"It was not as user-friendly as we wanted it to be," Wright-Swadel said.

"When we felt that the process of recruiting itself might be more work than the actual application, we realized it was time to do something," Wright-Swadel added.

Although some students had already started using the on-line recruiting system to submit documents to companies, OCS evaluations found it to be confusing to many students.

"The students were not able to use it as easily as we would have liked," said Recruiting Director Judith C. Murray.

Since last spring, Murray worked with Phuc V. Truong '98, Wellie W. Chao '98 and Seth P. Sternglanz '98 to develop the new system. The three seniors have formed their own company, Crimson Solutions.

"We will be working with them to help develop an on-line system that will work better for Harvard," Murray said.

Truong said that more patience on behalf of the students would have helped the new program to succeed.

"I wish that students would give it a chance," Truong said. "In the long run, it would have helped them save a lot of time and effort."

Crimson Solutions has signed contracts with Boston College and MIT to develop on-line recruiting systems like the one it created for Harvard.

"We've learned some lessons from this. Student reaction is going to be strong," Truong said. "We have to inform them of how the system works and what the advantages are."

"We'll have more documentation, more answers and more training on the next go-round," he added.

Most components of the on-line system will still function, including the resume builder that helps students prepare resumes for on-line submission.

Truong said that leaving these resources for students on the World Wide Web will help them get familiar with on-line recruiting.

"With any new system, people are going to be afraid, especially when their jobs are on the line," Truong said.

"Once they use the other parts of the system, hopefully they'll get used to the program and will be ready to use the on-line resume component in the near future," he added.

Wright-Swadel also said that it is important for students to ease their way into the new system.

"We will continue to work on developing an on-line system," Wright-Swadel said. "For now, though, it's important that students are comfortable with the process of recruiting."

OCS has extended the deadline for document submissions for the fall recruiting season from Oct. 8 until noon on Oct. 10. Companies who will be accepting documents until this date include Anderson Consulting, Fleet Bank and Juno Online Services. Full details can be found on the OCS Web page at http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~fasocs/Recruiting/.

At last night's Bear Stearns recruiting meeting, company representatives assured attendees that paper resume submissions are still the most reliable

"With any new system, people are going to be afraid, especially when their jobs are on the line," Truong said.

"Once they use the other parts of the system, hopefully they'll get used to the program and will be ready to use the on-line resume component in the near future," he added.

Wright-Swadel also said that it is important for students to ease their way into the new system.

"We will continue to work on developing an on-line system," Wright-Swadel said. "For now, though, it's important that students are comfortable with the process of recruiting."

OCS has extended the deadline for document submissions for the fall recruiting season from Oct. 8 until noon on Oct. 10. Companies who will be accepting documents until this date include Anderson Consulting, Fleet Bank and Juno Online Services. Full details can be found on the OCS Web page at http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~fasocs/Recruiting/.

At last night's Bear Stearns recruiting meeting, company representatives assured attendees that paper resume submissions are still the most reliable

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