As a member of the career services center, you have the opportunity to guide students into solid working professionals. You have the capacity to create the leaders of tomorrow. You have it in your hands to to be a mentor to those with little direction. But what key strategies do you need to implement so your students are better than ever?
Although you may be doing everything you can to mold your students into workers who are not only good at their jobs, but who are engaged, creative thinkers, a strategies here and there can upgrade your career center. Failing to do so may result in graduates and young professionals who aren’t as good as they could be.
So, if you’re not doing so already, check out the strategies below and see how you can optimize them in your career services center.
Social media training
More than likely, your students are aware of the ins and outs of social media. But do they know how to use it correctly, particularly in the job search? Studies show that 94 percent of recruiters use or plan to use social media in their hiring efforts. Though you may already use this strategy, if your students aren’t trained on the ins and outs of social media in the professional sense, they may be losing out.
Social media training doesn’t have to be a huge investment. You can easily show your students how to create a LinkedIn profile, implement privacy settings, reach out to thought leaders, and comment on blogs. Sharing guidelines will not only enhance their presence, it will also help them to navigate a job search in an increasingly social and Web-driven world.
Direct communication lines
You know what’s frustrating? Having a question you can’t get answered immediately. It’s is a common frustration for students trying to access career services resources — maybe they’re on a tight deadline to turn in a cover letter, but aren’t sure how to address it. Maybe they realize it’s been two weeks since applying for an internship, but aren’t sure if now is the time to give the employer a follow-up call. To ease these frustrations and tackle questions on a case-by-case basis, there needs to be a direct communication line between you and your students.
There are a few ways to do this. If you don’t have a direct phone line, establish a point of contact on social networking. Live chat features are also great. Or, you can prompt students to email you if you’re certain you’ll be able to give responses quickly. Consider establishing set hours during which students can get live answers to their questions so you’ll know when to be dedicated to your Twitter feed or inbox. Whatever you decide, helping your students to actually use your career services center starts with a direct communication line — and it helps if it’s an efficient one.
Job search software
These days, many professionals use job search software to find the career of their dreams. Your students are no different. The key to is help them focus on the right kinds of software to not only be more savvy in their searches, but to also get a leg up on the competition.
Resources like CareerShift are a great way to get your students in gear — handles much of the legwork of the lengthy job search process. For example, our platform allows students to search, store, and manage multiple job listings. They can also get up-to-date contact information and create better cover letters, resumes, and other application materials. All of this assists your students on the path to having a successful job search experience — and you’ll be the person they thank!
While you’re probably constantly making moves to optimize your career center, try the above strategies for added efficiency. You’ll find more students using your career services center and getting more out of the resource overall.
What do you think? Are you missing these strategies? What’s stopping you from implementing them?
Photo courtesy of Lower Columbia College; Flickr