CollegeRecruiter Shuts Off Resume Access

May 19, 2008
This article is part of a series called News & Trends. has become one of the first if not the first commercial job board to stop selling access to its resume database. The redesigned site which launched over the weekend still collects resumes from jobseekers who want to submit one, but it no longer allows employers to search through them.

With the security of resume databases increasingly being threatened, Steve Rothberg, president and founder of, told us there was no cost-effective way for his site to protect jobseekers.

“Resume searching was profitable, but not profitable enough to spend the money to make it secure,” he explained to us, adding, “This isn’t about ID theft.” The security threats he and other job board operators worry about most come from legitimate companies who farm resumes for marketing purposes. They aren’t looking to hire candidates, but to sell to them. Resumes have also been collected in order to be resold in bulk to other job boards.

Even though Rothberg says it’s not a significant loss of revenue, it does represent 5 percent of total revenue, an amount in the tens of thousands of dollars. Sites such as Monster make upwards of 30 percent of their revenue from selling resume access. It’s one of the few areas where user generated content has been successfully and significantly monetized on the Internet, so it’s unlikely many job boards will follow CollegeRecruiter’s lead

Candidates will still be encouraged to post their resume in order to receive job alerts and targeted emails. And employers will still be able to solicit candidates by going through CollegeRecruiter. These targeted emails are sent by CollegeRecruiter to opt-in jobseekers whose resumes match the employer’s need. The employers don’t know who gets the emails unless the candidates actually apply.

Ending resume searching may be the most dramatic change in the relaunched CollegeRecruiter site, but the most visible is the home page, which reflects what Rothberg described to us as a “minimalist” approach to job searching.

Although the current trend is for job boards to be more of a career center, Rothberg says, “I don’t buy it.” Jobseekers, he says, “Go to our site to connect with employers.”

So the homepage now features Google-like search and a handful of text links to other content. More content, in fact several thousand pages of content including articles, resources and topical blogs, are still available on the site. As Rothberg explains, “Those who want it can find it easily.”

Another key change, also reflecting the minimalist approach, is in how candidates apply for jobs. They provide their name, email address, location and resume and in some cases they don’t even need to list their location. The streamlined process leverages the ability of most ATS systems to parse out relevant details from a resume, obviating the need for the usual fill-in-the-blanks application.

The changes, says Rothberg, were made to “Maximize the number of candidates to use our site for the reason they use a job board – to look for a job.”

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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