Technology has made leaps and bounds in the last few decades. Faster than you learn new hashtags and update resources for incoming students, they’re on to the next social trend.
Educational institutions have done their best to keep up with technological advancements to stay relevant and engaging for each generation of students. Floppy drives in boxy computers clustered together in the crowded campus computer lab quickly made way for portable hard drives and flat screens in every classroom. Students today connect with professors, upload assignments, and check their grades from their cell phones.
If you’re still handing out printed packets and scheduling canned email messages to remind students to update their portfolios, you’re missing countless opportunities to connect with students. Here’s a look at how modern technology can help students connect better with career services:
Students today absorb vast amounts of information about the world in short bursts of time primarily through video. People frequently turn to YouTube or Vimeo for quick tutorials, companies share important product information on websites through video demos, and social media influencers share tips and trends on TikTok and Facebook Live.
You can share information in an engaging way with students by catching on to this trend. Send out a ‘Weekly Minutes’ with 2 to 3-minute video updates about career services events. You can even post video how-tos for updating resumes or applying for internships on your career services page.
Email inboxes can quickly clutter when students are preoccupied with balancing classwork and social engagements. It’s become an antiquated means of communication for younger generations. Gen Z is more likely to check and respond to text messages.
Set up an SMS through the university or college you work with that students can easily text when they have urgent questions. This helps filter texts into several team members’ messages to distribute the pressure of timely responses.
Chat forums are popular for students to turn to for answers to questions in everyday life. You can tap into the ease of engagement and accessibility to students by starting a career services chat in a platform like Quora or Discord.
Share your career services chat group on your career page, link it on your social profiles, and add it to your email signature. Giving students several ways to connect quickly in the online spaces they already frequent makes it more likely they will use career service resources.
Don’t just post on social media, engage on social media in the ways students connect with each other. Share amusing (but appropriate) gifs and memes that are relevant to the college student experience. Mix in useful tips and short video clips.
Try to make your social shares visually interesting so they catch students’ attention and generate engagement through comments and ‘likes.’ This helps boost your posts into more social feeds so you reach more students.
Quizzes are wildly popular on social media. Students likely check to see who their celebrity soul mate is or what their favorite food says about their career success. It takes just a minute for a student to click through a few questions and gain useless knowledge, but it’s a fun mental break. Why not make it a valuable learning experience?
You can create engaging quizzes in Typeform or Survey Monkey and share links on your social feeds or send out in a newsletter. Students can learn insightful information about themselves and get directed to resources in the same amount of time they would have posted their Harry Potter House to their Instagram feed. Better yet, you can use data from the quizzes and surveys to inform updates to the information you share with students.
Every resource you provide students doesn’t have to be a step toward landing in their dream career. You could help alleviate stress or boost memory retention by offering tips for mental health and self-care to create positive habits before they enter the workforce.
One easy way to motivate students is to create study playlists that appeal to different tastes in music and serve different purposes. Students can benefit from a pick-me-up after a long day or tunes to decompress from a long exam. You can even put together a neuro-stimulating list to help students recall and perform their best.
Gamification is a great way to motivate students to hone the skills they need for organization and retaining important information they need for their job search and in their careers. There are dozens of apps geared toward goal-setting and creating sustainable healthy habits.
Survey students, if you’re not sure where to start with recommendations. Learn about their challenges and research free apps available to Android and iOS users to ensure the resources are accessible on all student devices.