Employers seeking elite students turn to Square

by Zana Bugaighis | 11/5/04 6:00am

Care to capitalize on Dartmouth's prestige? Resume drops not panning out? A new website promising to connect recruiters with job applicants from prestigious colleges could provide another career option.

SquareJobs, a part of TheSquare.com, claims to be a more superior job service than established websites such as the popular Monster.com. The concept behind SquareJobs, which is running a virtual career fair through Nov. 5, is that by providing recruiters with only "prestigious applicants," hiring companies will be more likely to look at the applicants on their site.

Boasting a 75 percent chance of getting a job compared to Monster.com's hiring rate of 3 to 4 percent, SquareJobs just might be right.

Many of the listed employers are alumni of the 40 eligible schools increasing the likelihood that they would want to hire graduates from schools of similar esteem.

Students not a part of the top 40 schools are not eligible to join, and TheSquare does not seem to be planning to extend its services to any other universities any time soon. When TheSquare was founded in 1997, only 23 schools were included, based on their "strong alumni communities and the rigor of their academic traditions," TheSquare.com website said. Current schools include those in the Ivy League, as well as smaller institutions, such as the Seven Sisters and select big name universities.

While some students seemed annoyed that such services exist to benefit the privileged, they generally agreed that they would take advantage of any such services they had available to them.

"I think such a website service is setting a track for people with advantaged socio-economic backgrounds and perpetuates elitism," Deb Newburg '07 said. "Still, I would probably take advantage of the service if I thought it would be of any help to me."

TheSquare is a competitor of sites such as thefacebook.com, which also offers limited membership, and Friendster.com. Though the only criteria for membership is affiliation with a school in the network, those who wish to be a part of the site, and its subsidiary SquareJobs, must first apply for membership and wait for approval.

For those students who are secure in the career prospects but not as confident about their social lives, SquareDating also provides an additional service. This service is similar to other elitist dating sites such as GoodGenes.com that offers a "superior" pool of singles from which to choose: "singles from the world's top colleges and universities."

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