Case StudyOptimalResume.comat For-Profit CareerCollegesDecember 21, 2010
IntroductionOver the last five years, OptimalResume.com has emerged as a leading provider of on-demand software services to the for-profit college industry. This case study examineshow more than sixty for-profit career colleges now use a variety of on-demand careerservices provided by OptimalResume.com.It is our belief that for-profit clients extract more value from OptimalResume.com thanother institutions. We see evidence for this across a number of data points, includinghigher account growth, superior user engagement, and more.Consider that the average user at a for-profit career college spends 30.3 minutes loggedin to their OptimalResume.com account, and returns on average 4.5 times each year.Therefore, OptimalResume.com provides the average user at a for-profit career collegewith more than 2 hours of online career assistance each year.With more than 188,000 active users at for-profit career colleges, OptimalResume.comdelivers nearly 400,000 hours of virtual career assistance to the for-profit collegeindustry on an aggregate basis each year.In this case study, we explore why OptimalResume.com has become a leading providerto the for-profit college industry and seek to answer the following questions: 1) Which for profit-career colleges use OptimalResume.com? 2) Which modules do for-profit career colleges use? 3) Do for-profit career colleges spend more time customizing their domains? 4) How do for-profit career college validate users? 5) What kind of account growth do we see at for-profit clients? 6) What is user engagement like at for-profit career colleges? 7) Do for-profit career colleges provide asynchronous resume review services?Since taking on its first for-profit client in 2005, OptimalResume.com has maintained a98.4% retention ratio with for-profit career colleges. This fact alone establishes thetremendous value that OptimalResume.com delivers to for-profit clients.All data contained in this case study refers to our on-demand software services that areused by current for-profit customers. However, we do expect a significant percentage offor-profit clients to migrate to the Career Services API when it becomes available.We hope this case study will prove useful to University of Phoenix and furtherpartnership discussions with OptimalResume.com.1. Which for-profit career colleges use OptimalResume.com?At the corporate level, more than twenty for-profit corporations currently useOptimalResume.com to provide online career services, including but not limited to: Alta Colleges American Career College, Inc. Antonelli College Corporate
Career Education Corporation (CEC) Corinthian Colleges EDMC Education Management Corporation EDMC Online Education Management Corporation Education Corporation of America Intellitec College ITT-Tech Lincoln Educational Services TCS EducationMany of these for-profit clients manage a number of specialized domains to meet thespecific needs of their institution.For example, Career Education Corporation (CEC) manages twelve niche domains: American InterContinental University Online Briarcliffe College Brooks Institute Brown College Career Education Collins College Colorado Technical University Harrington College International Academy of Art and Design Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America Missouri College Sanford BrownOn each of these specialized domains, domain content has been customized to meetthe needs of a particular audience.For example: Sanford Brown has been customized for healthcare students (Appendix A). Le Cordon Bleu has been customized for culinary students (Appendix B). Harrington College has been customized for interior design students (Appendix C). International Academy of Art and Design has been customized for design students. (Appendix D).Typically, these customizations include 1) domain appearance, 2) instructions, 2)document styles, 3) document samples, 4) section examples, 5) interview questionsamples, and more.Lincoln Educational Services manages eighteen unique domains with more of ageographic distribution of services:
Lincoln Technical Institute East Windsor Euphoria Institute Lincoln College of New England Lincoln College of Technology Lincoln College Online Lincoln Educational Services Connecticut Lincoln Educational Services - Indianapolis Lincoln Technical Institute Lincoln Technical Institute Connecticut Lincoln Technical Institute Florida Lincoln Technical Institute - Maryland and Pennsylvania Lincoln Technical Institute Massachusetts Lincoln Technical Institute - New Jersey Lincoln New Jersey Lincoln Technical Institute Northeast Lincoln Technical Institute Pennsylvania Lincoln Technical Institute - South Southwestern CollegeLincoln Education Services launched the first of these eighteen co-branded domainsearly in 2009 (Appendix E), and it has continued to add new domains with the success ofthe program. Other for-profits career colleges have taken a similar, stepwise approach toroll out as well.Overall, our on-demand software services have the flexibility to meet the needs of adiverse for-profit audience. Other for-profit career clients include: Westwood College Online American Career College West Coast University Antonelli College Antonelli College Mississippi Everest College (Canada) Everest College (US) Heald College WyoTech Argosy University Brown Mackie College South University The Art Institutes Argosy University Online Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online South University Online Golf Academy of America Virginia College Intellitec College - Colorado Springs Intellitec College - Grand Junction
ITT-Tech (Atlanta) Bryant & Stratton College Chancellor University Jones International University Keiser University Rasmussen College Pacific Oaks College Santa Barbara Graduate Institute The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyBecause we have signed confidentiality agreements with several for-profit careercolleges, not all for-profit clients are listed here. However, it is easy to see thatOptimalResume.com serves a very broad group of for-profit career colleges, from tradeprograms to graduate programs and everything in between.2. Which modules do for-profit career colleges use?Our on-demand software services provide for-profit clients an a la carte selection ofcareer modules that are deployed on attractive, co-branded domain, such ashttps://coloradotech.optimalresume.com/.In the image in Appendix F, selected modules are outlined in the red box on the left. - Resume Letter Interview Preparation Video Resume Portfolio Skills Assessment Website Job BoardIn addition, tw - available: WebCast WebChatFor an extensive list of which for-profit career colleges subscribe to whichOptimalResume.com modules, see the chart in Appendix G. Again, all for-profit clientsare not included due to confidentiality constraints.Overall, we see for-profit career colleges rely heavily on our on-demand softwareservices: 59% of for-profit career colleges license all career modules 90% of for-profit career colleges license more than 6 modules The minimum number of modules for any for-profit career college is 4 modules
In terms of specific module usage, we find that all modules are relatively popular withfor-profit clients (Appendix H).However, 100% of for-profit clients use these modules: Resume Website WebCast WebChatResume is our gold standard product. It not only improves overall resume quality, butalso it offers a major productivity gain for most clients: A recent survey of 101 campus recruiters at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill rated the quality of student resumes from the system a 4.47 on a 1-5 scale. More than 16,000 public users voted OptimalResume.com 4th out of 600 online job and career tools in the Department of Labor Challenge.Consider the following client testimonials about Resume: The advising staff use to spend an incredible amount of time counseling students regarding the first steps in creating an effective resume now Optimal Resume does that work for us! And, the feedback from students and employers alike has all been very positive. We simply could not be any happier with this Caitlin Blasco, Bentley College superior resumes, taking much less time to critique and correct, as compared to resumes Marcia Harris, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Barbara Efird, Peace College hen we meet one-on-one with the students, they have an initial draft of a resume so our counseling sessions can begin with focusing their resume and presentation toward specific employers rather than focusing on the nuts and bolts of how to go about creati Ronald Hayes, Culinary Institute of America We find ourselves able to serve more students with greater efficiency a win- Maureen McCartney, Westfield State University ility with which they can create job hunting documents and that Optimals tools allow them to present themselves as savvy job hunters with technological expertise. Maralyn Kinch, Montclair State UniversityWebsite is popular because it helps users manage their personal brand online.WebChat and WebCast facilitate communication between students and career advisors.
Other modules see excellent penetration with the for-profit clients audience as well: Letter has 95% penetration Interview Preparation has 85% penetration Portfolio has 75% penetration Job Board has 72% penetration Video Resume and Skills Assessment have 69% penetrationCurrent for-profit clients have very positive things to say about the impact ofOptimalResume.com: have been using Optimal Resume with Rasmussen College for about two years and can find NOTHING wrong with it! It is a great tool for our students to use, especially our digital design students. They are able to upload their work into an online portfolio and give employers a chance to "get a gander" at their work before an interview! All I can say is I love it as a teaching tool! Sheila Stiles, Rasmussen College resume for their introduction with a link added to their online portfolio employers and students I have followed through the process have all given high marks to component is exceptional, and in addition the Optimal program allows a student to create several other components such as a video resume that I suggested students use for their "elevator speech" which can then be added to their Betsy RichardsFinally, 90% of for-profit career colleges participate in ResumeGPS , a uniqueemployer-facing program that combines resume searching and online interviewingcapabilities.3. Do for-profit career colleges spend more time customizing their domains?To investigate whether for-profit career colleges spend more time customizing theirdomains than other institutions, we asked our client services team to review their CRMimplementation notes and rate the amount of customization effort for each domain.They scored each domain on a scale of 1 maximumFor a complete list of all scores, please visit Appendix I.The average score for for-profit career colleges was 6.37, compared to a global averageof 3.46, which suggests that for-profits are indeed more focused on customizing the userexperience. Though this data is subjective, it makes sense, in that for-profit careercolleges are under more pressure to see a positive return on investment from thesoftware.4. How do for-profit career college validate users?
Each for-profit client controls user access on its domain. There are a variety of uservalidation methods from which to choose: LDAP SSO Unique Access Code Email Validation IP Validation Partial Email Validation Shared Access CodeDespite the large number of options available, current for-profit clients rely exclusively ontwo of these validation methods: 1) Shared Access Code and 2) Email Validation(Appendix J).We see the following distribution on for-profit domains: 84% use a Shared Access Code 16% use Email ValidationAccording to our client services team, for-profit career colleges use these two methodsbecause 1) they are simple to implement and 2) they do not require internal ITresources. Moreover, it is easy to add more shared codes or email extensions if needed.Both methods work well for clients who want to launch quickly.5. What kind of account growth do we see at for profit career centers?As a group, for-profit career colleges see excellent account growth.For confidentiality reasons, cannot disclose usage statistics for any specific client.However, we can share aggregate data trends, which are very informative: The average for-profit career college has been an OptimalResume.com client for 20.2 months (range 1 to 56 months). The average monthly account growth rate is 46.3% (range 10% to 389%). The average number of new accounts added each month on a given domain is 156 accounts (range 2 to 1510).In addition, we see sustained high account growth at for-profit career colleges. Examplesinclude: One for-profit career college currently has 46,250 accounts and retains a 30% average monthly account growth rate (Appendix K) Another for-profit career college has 18,743 accounts with a 21% average monthly account growth rate. In fact, account growth on this domain has increased dramatically in the last several months (Appendix L). A newer for-profit client is currently in a high-growth phase with a 63% average monthly account growth rate and 10,109 accounts (Appendix M).
Most likely, there are a number of factors that contribute to the sustained, high accountgrowth rates at for-profit career colleges. One factor appears to be the high level ofcustomization on for-profit domains. Other factors may include: 1) the degree to whichfor-profit career colleges integrate OptimalResume.com in their curriculum, 2) the broadappeal of the product line to a large audience, and 3) the motivation level of studentsand alumni at for-profit colleges to find employment.Many institutions have integrated OptimalResume.com into the classroom experience.Consider the following examples: love the tools and several of our academic departments have found great Maureen McCartney, Westfield State University our 6th quarter students in the Career Development Class. The ease and good functionality, along with great looking resumes our students were able to Josephine Smith, Associate Director of Career Services from Pittsburgh Technical Institute and I rec in, choose a style, and send it to me for proofing - Diane Rogowski, Jamestown Business College ness Administration now has all OptimalResume.com modules! Ill be integrating them all in my Career Development I and II courses. The video component is different, and takes branding to a whole new level. We want our students to be at that level with an " Toledo College of Business AdministrationOur software is highly relevant for job seekers of all levels, which is essential for for-profit clients with a diverse user base: Resume has been an excellent tool for individuals who have never created a resume as well as those with executive backgrounds. All modules within Optimal Resume have been helpful to many customers in one fashion or another, including the resume website, which can create a WOW factor when presenting to an employer. Jo Ann Gallup, Pasco Hernando Workforce Board field, action verbs they can use on their resume, and many different options for - Jessica-Lee Marino, Centenary CollegeWe discuss user engagement at for-profit career colleges below.6. What is user engagement like at for-profit career colleges?For confidentiality reasons, cannot disclose login statistics for any specific client.However, we can share aggregate data trends, which highlight how important
OptimalResume.com has become in the delivery of online career services at for-profitinstitutions: The average for-profit user spends 30.3 minutes logged in to their OptimalResume.com account (range 10.46 45.78 minutes, Appendix N). The average for-profit user returns to his or her account 4.5 times per year (range 1.5 10.09 return visits, Appendix O).Therefore, OptimalResume.com provides the average for-profit user with more than twohours of online career assistance annually.In addition, users at for-profit career colleges heavily attend our National Webinars,which are held on a daily basis and cover a variety of career-related topics. Overall, for-profit users account for 43% of total monthly webinar attendance, which isdisproportionately high, given that for-profit users represent only 10% of totalOptimalResume.com user base.7. Do for-profit career colleges provide asynchronous resume review services?Yes!In fact, 100% of for-profit career colleges have enabled the administrative Review Centerthat enables users to submit any document or interview practice for review.Each for-profit career college has some number of career advisors that manage theirReview Center, providing asynchronous feedback to users. Some institutions providefeedback only, while other institutions provide full document editing services.Recent user polling data indicates that users want a rapid turn around on documentssubmitted for review: 56% 43% of users need to finish their resume by the end of the day; 31% need to finish by the end of the week 78% of users expressed strong interest in receiving a within three hours of submission 77% (resume editing services) within 24 hours of submission.Surprisingly, the data shows little interest in synchronous review services.OptimalResume.com will soon offer outsourcing of resume review services for interestedfor-profit clients.ConclusionOptimalResume.com has emerged as a leading provider of on-demand softwareservices to the for-profit college industry. Our flexible, on-demand software services areused by more than twenty for-profit corporations and sixty for-profit career colleges. The
tremendous value we add is evidenced by our 98.4% retention rate with for-profit clientsover the last 5 years. OptimalResume.com sticks because it works.Our users are engaged because we provide the highest quality online career tools onthe market. Our software is highly rated by both users and site administrators alike, andand the United States Department of Labor. There may be alternatives toOptimalResume.com, but there are no substitutes.The average for-profit user revisits OptimalResume.com 4.5 times per year and spendsmore than 2 hours per year logged in to their OptimalResume.com account. In that briefperiod of time, users work on documents and skills that are going to have a direct impacton the outcome of their job search. We think these are two of the most important hoursToday, more than one thousand career centers trust OptimalResume.com to help theirstudents reach career success. For a large institution like University of Phoenix,OptimalResume.com can deliver hundreds of thousands of hours of on-demand careerassistance to its users every year. We think the value-cost tradeoff of providing ourproven services is undeniable, and hope University of Phoenix does as well.We hope this case study has been useful for University of Phoenix. We look for forwardto continuing our discussions and a successful future partnership together.