Work smarter, not harder. Just about every college student hears that aphorism at some point during their time on campus. For seniors nearing graduation, working smarter is even more important, since students must keep up with their course work, senior projects and internships while trying to find full-time employment that starts soon after they receive their diplomas.
Career Services should find ways to point these students approaching graduation to key resources to improve their productivity. This is especially true for busy students on the job hunt who need to connect with employers.
With 10 million things to do in the last two semesters of college, seniors need all the help they can get. Career Services staffers can recommend apps such as Todoist or Evernote for students to download. Many calendar apps are available to remind students of their upcoming classes, appointments and due dates. However, time management is only a single element of the productivity equation.
Your college campus can take things a step further. Career Services can tap into mobile by providing access to mobile career services apps for students. Yes, it takes some initial investment on the part of the university but providing an easy way for students to ask questions to you from their mobile device can make a significant impact toward increasing student engagement.
Productivity apps from Career Services can remind students about upcoming appointments with career center staffers, how many weeks it is until graduation and when recruiters are on campus. The app can also be a great way for inbound recruiting specialists to showcase targeted content for students on the job hunt.
Text messaging is a great way to get the word out to students, and it also gives inbound recruiting a chance to reach individual students. Text messages, much like apps, reach students on their smartphones to remind them of upcoming events and appointments. They can also point to relevant content for job seekers, send messages from employers and provide status updates on an application for employment.
Text alerts may even be more helpful than apps for one crucial reason. When a text chime sounds on a phone, people generally check the message no matter what, assuming that it’s important. Apps don’t have the same attention-getting capability since people must tap or swipe on an app to open it in the first place. Text alerts are pushed automatically to the phone, so the recipient gets the alert as long as the phone is on and active.
Apps and text messages increase productivity, but only if they communicate effectively. Students have to be willing to download an app or to give up their phone number to receive texts. To close the gap, your Career Center should nurture students toward developing relationships with Career Services staffers. Reach out to professors to make quick presentations in the classroom about the benefits Career Services can provide for students on campus. Distribute small cards at these presentations that display the text message alert number and the app for the career center. These presentations build trust, which in turn leads to more engagement so you can keep students on task and headed toward employment.
For mass communications, distribute traditional flyers to bulletin boards on campus displaying information about the app and text alert system. Make public address announcements at sporting events touting the app and text messaging system. Once you have their attention and earn their trust, it’s time to put students in touch with employers.
Point to Good Employers
Develop relationships with employers, both on campus and remotely. That way, you can point students to employers who fit their personality, professional goals and life mission. A career isn’t just about money; it’s also about finding a place to fit in and make a real difference. A viable relationship with a recruiter gives Career Services employees a chance to vet employers ahead of making recommendations to students.
Remember that trust you earned with students? You put it to the test when you create a connection between a student and an employer. An employer’s inbound recruiting tools, which might include customized content for students, make your students more productive during their job search.
Good employers do much more than offer great salaries and top benefits to applicants. Employers nurture students through a positive on-boarding process. Positive elements of the on-boarding process often start with openness and honesty about what it’s like to work for a given company. Recruiters might even point to possible mentors for each student. The employer can also develop a personalized career plan that takes the graduate from an entry-level job all the way up to management. When college graduates see where they can land in five, 10 and even 20 years, it makes them recognize that their hard work in college paid off.
All of these aspects make students more productive in their final year on campus. Mobile apps and text messages create an easy way for students to engage with you as you earn their trust.