Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
January 23, 2013
by Shannon C. Kelly
Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, iPads, the “cloud,” Tout, Facebook, SCREENR, the list goes on. Today, the range of social media platforms and technology gadgets available seems endless. So do the resources, ideas, and stories that can be shared through these channels.
These endless possibilities have contributed to common, ongoing challenges that our departments face: How can we meet the demand for fresh and relevant information? Is this what our audience wants? Fortunately, the answer, and the talent required for the solution, is right in front of you. Students, alumni, and recruiters are critical stakeholders to any career services or university relations office, and serve as a perfect source to help you develop fresh content.
Delegating content creation among students, alumni, and recruiters demonstrates that you value them. More importantly, it also presents each group with a unique platform to showcase its knowledge and brand, and strengthen its relationship with you. Given the range of available platforms and gadgets, a wide variety of opportunities exist where each population can contribute based on their strengths and schedules.
The options I’ll touch on below can be promoted across multiple platforms, offer flexibility to the contributor, and leverage different devices:
- Blogs—Even in today’s world of abbreviated communication (think: texting and tweeting), blogs create a simple space for students, staff, alumni, and recruiters to share their stories. There are many avenues to recruit authors, such as e-mail listservs, career fairs, LinkedIn, and other departments. This opportunity can be a one-time contribution or a recurring one. Then, develop a schedule based on potential topics and create guest accounts. Authors can write posts on their own time, which makes this a very popular option. Get creative with the perspectives that are shared, as well. For example, quotes from these posts can also be used on Twitter or Facebook.
- Twitter—Tweeting is another popular option, especially among those who have mastered this unique social network. Career centers can host virtual walk-in hours for Twitter sessions led by staff, students, alumni, and/or recruiters. Set a weekly or monthly schedule for these sessions. Rotate the topic or the discussion leader. Another option is a guest Twitter account that features different contributors. Similar to blogs, this is a virtual opportunity that is flexible for busy students, alumni, and recruiters.
- Videos—Whether you use YouTube or Vimeo, or have a customized site, videos add a dynamic element to an online presence. Career fairs, panels, and special events are all perfect opportunities to steal an alumnus/ae, student, or recruiter for five minutes to film. An iPhone, tablet, or FlipCam are quick and easy devices to capture their insights. Quick sound bites often don’t require editing. One tool perfect for these quick clips is Tout, which instantly shares 15-second videos on social media.
These are just some of the myriad ways to share content creation among key stakeholders from career services and university relations. We are surrounded by talent that can help our departments tackle the constant challenge to provide fresh and relevant information. Social media and technology provide a public forum where each group can share their knowledge, and all of us—as departments, students, alumni, and recruiters—can learn from one another.
Shannon C. Kelly is an associate director at career services at the University of Pennsylvania. You can follow her on twitter at @shannonckelly or www.socialatedu.com.
Shannon will be presenting a Learning Lab about using Pinterest during NACE’s Social Media Mashup on January 31 and February 1 in Philadelphia.