Now Careers Services Can Place Your School in the Spotlight
Updated: Jun 2, 2020
What can university careers services do now to support students and help them land opportunities?
The career success of your graduates is a key indicator in university rankings and an indispensable highlight in marketing and recruitment campaigns. So, now is the perfect time to stand out.
Many students and alumni find themselves with rescinded job offers and upended career plans due to the coronavirus. Entire industries, from hospitality to aviation, are not hiring. What can university careers services do now to support students and help them land opportunities?
An article in Education Dive highlights some winning strategies. The right communications approach, as well as targeted support from career coaches and alumni, can lead students to success in this unprecedented situation.
Communicate unconditional support
Whether you are doing individual outreach or holding large online events, your main message should be one of support. Communicate that your services are there for students, no matter what.
Careers services staff at Wake Forest University (North Carolina, US) sent students “love notes” – brief emails simply stating they were available. These messages did not include any call to action. But after the next round of communications, requests for help started “pouring in”. A simple human touch made a big difference.
Other effective strategies include creating resources specific to the current situation, and involving alumni.
You can develop a guide for the problems students are experiencing right now, such as cancelled internship offers. Resources like this can make students feel less isolated and can empower them to act.
Additionally, matching students with alumni can provide vital mentoring and connections. This can be done individually, based on interests, or at a larger virtual event. For example, the University of California, San Diego (US) held an online fair where over 500 students talked to alumni one-to-one about their industries.
Plan ahead for careers services in the autumn
Even if universities reopen in the autumn, large in-person events like career fairs are unlikely to return in the same form.
An engaging online event is difficult to pull off, cautions Education Dive. Choosing a digital partner, troubleshooting, and coaching students on how to make the most of it take time. If you start preparing over the summer, you will be able to hold effective virtual or blended careers fairs next term.
With timely offerings and individual outreach, you can make students feel supported and encouraged. Show students you are there for them, and you will see results.
Highlight careers services in your school’s marketing
Recruitment professionals know that webinars are a great opportunity to highlight careers services and their value added to the overall experience of your MBA and Masters students. Ultimately, their studies, networking, and degree from your school should pave the way for their career progression.
Take the opportunity to invite career experts and alumni to join your admissions team during webinars and online events. Advent Group hosts weekly webinars for carefully targeted global or regional audiences. You can choose to focus your webinar on prospects who are shortlisting their dream schools with Unimy or those preparing for admission with PrepAdviser. In both cases, alumni career success will make a difference.