Summer is in full swing, yet, we can’t avoid that it is also winding down! In just a few weeks, students will be back on campus. You’re rightfully concerned that students may have lost sight of future career objectives while working summer jobs and working on their tans. They deserve a break, and so do you! But you also want to be sure the leads students need to network, build their portfolios, and apply for internships don’t go cold.
As we all start to gear up for back to school, you can get back on their radar by being valuable without being invasive of their remaining vacation time. Here are a few quick tips to keep networking connections with students warm while they’re still away from school:
If you’ve encouraged your students to connect to your career center social media profiles, they should be getting notifications already. Students will stay active on social media, while at times, they may not check their student email accounts.
If on-campus jobs or internships nearby will open up and students can apply early, you need to post this information as a high priority. But you don’t want to make everything about urgent work they need to do on the final weeks of break. Post fun memes, trends relevant to different studies and interests, and even personal tips (like where to get the best ice cream is at new spots near campus).
The trick is to share content that keeps students engaged, so your posts continue to show up in their feeds as you get closer to the next semester. The more likes, comments, and shares you earn by being a valuable social media resource to students, the more likely your updates get seen.
There’s a chance emails and newsletters won’t be noticed over these months. But sending out a newsletter shows you’re invested in students’ success year-round. Those who catch it will gain an advantage and those who miss it will learn to keep a pulse on what’s happening in the career center.
Keep your newsletter brief but valuable. Include a motivational quote, send a few links to upcoming job resources, and throw in a mental health tip. You’re not giving students summer assignments from the career center. You just need to be sure everyone knows you’re there if they have questions and you’re gearing up to help them succeed when they get back on campus.
This may be through a LinkedIn or school messenger app, email, or even texts if that’s how you typically communicate with students. Think of one to three easy steps students can take to make transitioning back to school easier. This may be as simple as ‘get your sleep schedule back on track,’ ‘think ahead about working in working out,’ ‘note your new skills and experiences to update your resume,’ etc.
Make sure your message is brief, motivational, and reads as a helpful suggestion. You want students to see you as approachable and familiar when they return to school, so let some personality come through in your tone. This may be your first impression with some students, so make it count and fun.
You may be excited about resources and opportunities you can’t wait to offer students, but that doesn’t mean they need an endless series of notifications. The last thing you want is to be silenced on social media or blocked in student inboxes.
Prioritize information you share over the summer and organize updates you need to give students when they get back to school. If something that could affect their advancement over the school year is urgent, give them the exact steps and timelines they need to know and make yourself available. But if it can wait, let students have their remaining summer vacation. And be sure to enjoy yours too!
With that said, don’t let your connections go cold. There are plenty of ways you can be engaging and create opportunities for students to make strides in their careers without imposing on their free time. Find the channels you can reach students and identify the content they connect with, and you’ll have an avenue to continue building relationships with students long after the summer break.