Four Reasons You Should Use Opt-in Resume Books
By Ashford University Staff
In difficult times, job seekers grapple with fear and frustration as they worry that their resumes will never be seen by a hiring manager. In order to identify and hire qualified candidates more efficiently, many companies are turning to resume books. Resume books are online databases developed by colleges — including Ashford University — that connect recruiters with students and alumni in the current job market.
“Uploading your resume in a resume book is a great way to enhance your job search,” explains Ashford University Director of Career Services and Alumni Relations Grace Williamson. “By opting in and agreeing to participate, employers and hiring managers will have exclusive access to consider your qualifications.”
If you are an Ashford student or alumni, register for Ashford's virtual career fair on Wednesday, October 7, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. PST. In advance of the event, it is recommended that you add your resume to a resume book. Then, follow these additional guidelines on how to prepare in advance for a virtual career fair.
Read on to learn how they work, how to add your resume to a book, and which ones are available.
What is a Resume Book? How They Work
Resume books are able to provide employers and recruiters with exclusive access to resumes of students, who are currently looking for a job opportunity. Resume books are not a new thing, Williamson says, but as technology evolves and hiring searches expand from regionally to globally, resume books have become a much more efficient means of identifying an applicant’s key qualifications for a specific job opening.
Employers are able to search candidates by academic background, work experience, or specialized skills. Those resumes that match the criteria are then sent to hiring managers and recruiters.
“For example, if an employer comes to us and says, ‘We’re looking for a Project Manager who lives in Texas, we will query the resume book and any resume that fits the combination of those two criteria will be sent back to the employer,” Williamson says.
Four Reasons You Should Opt-in to Resume Books
Out of every 250 applications, about five candidates make it to the interview stage, according to Top Interview. Knowing this, you can use all the help you can get.
Here are four reasons a resume book can be a powerful ally in your job search.
1. Resume Books Can Save You Time
When you opt in to have your resume featured in a resume book, you’re letting someone else market your skills to employers on your behalf.
“Many online learners are working adults with busy schedules, and they can’t attend a career fair,” Williamson says. “This can shorten the amount of time that you spend looking for the right opportunity.”
2. Resume Books Eliminate Unconscious Bias
Unconscious bias, a prejudice a person has but doesn’t outwardly project, can prevent qualified job candidates from achieving positions they deserve.
When employers use resume books, they are only searching for job-specific skills, and if your skills match the criteria, your resume will be included in the batch that is sent from Williamson’s team to the hiring manager.
3. Resume Books Help You Compete in a Referral-driven World
Employers are increasingly relying on referrals to fill open positions, according to the Society of Human Resource Management, and many jobs are not even posted or advertised, a phenomenon known as the “hidden job market.”
A resume book can help level the playing field, giving you a direct line to a company that is seeking someone with your specific skills.
4. Resume Books Complement Optimization Tools
AshfordCareerResources.com provides you with templates and tools that will get your resume past today’s Applicant Tracking Systems. Once you’ve utilized these resume-building tools, you’ve increased the chance that your resume will be selected for an employer.
Additionally, it’s reassuring to know that Ashford’s My Career Powered by Symplicity website was developed in partnership with the National Association of Colleges and Employers, Williamson says. The organization connects thousands of college career services and recruiting professionals with resources, training, and tools needed to ensure students are career-ready by the time they graduate.
How to Include Your Resume in Ashford University’s Resume Books
Williamson recommends reaching out to Ashford’s Career Services team first to have your resume reviewed and revised. When it’s ready to go, follow these four steps:
- Select “My Career” in your Student Portal
- Select “Documents” in the left-hand panel
- Select “Opt Into Resume Books”
- Assign your resume to a preferred resume book
Ashford University students are given the choice to opt in and include their resume in one of five books:
This book provides recruiters with resumes of Ashford alumni who are actively looking for a job.
2. Military Affiliated Students & Alumni with Security Clearances
Designed for employers who are looking to hire transitioning military personnel and veterans, this is the primary option for service members to consider. Uploading your resume into this book will allow Career Services to connect recruiters to students and alumni with security clearances (e.g. DHS, DOE, PUBLIC TRUST, SECRET, SECRET POLY, SECRET/SSBI, TOP SECRET, TS/SCI, TS/SCI CI POLY, TS/SCI FS POLY, TS/SCI POLY, TS/SSBI, etc.).
3. Opt-In Resume Book for Military Spouses
This book provides recruiters and hiring managers exclusive access to resumes of Ashford military spouses seeking jobs or internships.
4. Opt-In Resume Book for the College of Arts and Sciences
This book provides recruiters and hiring managers with easy access to students completing degree programs through the College of Arts & Sciences.
5. Opt-In Resume Book for the Forbes School of Business & Technology
This book provides recruiters and hiring managers with easy access to students completing degree programs through the Forbes School of Business & Technology.
“We have more than 2,500 employers who post to our site,” Williamson says. “Some are looking for graduates or military students, specifically; some are also looking for students or alumni with security clearances. Tech companies, for example, often do business with government agencies or the Armed Forces, and they’ll require clearance for specific work.”
What to Do Next
Just like any other job site, you need to make sure your resume stays up-to-date once it’s been added to a resume book.
“Once you’ve graduated, you’ll need to go back, update your resume, and resubmit it,” Williamson says, adding that you should also update your resume when you acquire new skills or start a new job.
Keep in mind, she adds, that resume books are just one of several helpful tools for your job search. Networking, social media (including LinkedIn), and niche job boards can also play important roles while eliminating time and stress.
If you’re ready to begin your job search or need help getting your resume ready for a potential employer, contact Ashford University’s Career Services team.
Written by Ashford University Staff