4 Ways Career Services Can Prep Students & Grads

Colleges and universities are working hard to find new ways to engage, embrace, and educate students on the how to’s surrounding finding a job.  I was humbled to be asked to attend Oklahoma’s Association for Career and Employment Services (called OKACE) as a speaker.  It’s no secret that the job search is tough these days and uber competitive.  A career service department is working hard to do just that.

4 Ways Career Services Can Prep Students & Grads

There were many topics, discussions, and conversations surrounding the future of employment services and how companies and universities can work together.  I feel this is key in teaching our future employees and recent graduates especially since communication is of the essence.  The overwhelming response from the audience was that communication was important and the number current challenge.  With the increase of texting, twitter, and social media as a increasingly popular form of communication.  According to Career Services, the fine art of face to face communication is being lost.

  • Communication. In the business word this is essential.  The written word can be interpreted so many different ways and in this electronic word face to face interaction is even more important.  Career Service departments and Universities should provide additional training and instruction on how and why verbal communication is a must.  This could be in the form of company testimonials or workshops.  This is a problem that is not going away and by working together we can help to provide mentorship and examples of how and why communication is important.
  • Leveraging Social Media. This is becoming a must in our new media world.  The concept of social recruiting is becoming an important topic among recruiters and businesses who are looking to adapt to the world of FaceBook & Twitter.  Companies like Best Buy are no longer relying on job boards and traditional forms of advertisements using social media and texting to drive candidates to apply for openings.  Social Media is more than just a FaceBook Like Page and Twitter.  It’s about engagement and being available to your audience whenever and wherever they are.  Social Media does that.
  • Twitter Lists. The University of Oklahoma Career Services department shared with me that companies are asking students to engage them on Twitter and follow them to learn about jobs and internships instead of advertising openings with colleges and job boards.  Career Services can help educate students on this new media world while also encouraging them to engage companies on social media through Twitter lists.  Career Services can create lists and categorize companies and jobs using this tool allowing for students to easily follow companies with the click of a mouse.
  • The Real World. The University and College system does not always mirror reality for students and university employees.  I encourage Career Service departments to get out there and experience the work environment of both the private and public sectors.  This could include attending events and groups outside of the traditional norm, job or company shadowing and having a constant and open dialogue with companies and businesses.  This includes speaking with hiring managers, human resource professionals, line managers, resume writers, and everyone associated with the hiring and decision making process.  These conversations although they seem time consuming are key in helping CS evaluate if they are meeting the needs of the student and business populations in which they serve.
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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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