Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
August 1, 2012
In 2011, Evangeline Kubu, manager of communications and outreach at Princeton University’s career services office, conducted a survey to explore the levels of social media implementation among career centers nationwide.
Kubu says respondents were eager to share examples of their creative uses of social media and there were many innovative uses. Following are some examples.
- Event Promotion—Many survey respondents reported that they planned content to coordinate with career center events and programs. For example, a few created weeklong countdowns on Facebook and Twitter to promote an upcoming career fair and included different daily video tips on how to prepare. Another example was Columbia University Center for Career Education’s “Re-Tweet Contest” to promote one of their recent career fairs. Students had to retweet @ColumbiaCCE’s daily tweet about the career fair to enter to win a video camera.
- Student-Alumni Engagement—Career centers were also using social media to connect students with alumni. For example, University of Pennsylvania career services used its Twitter feed to launch @PennCareerDay, a day-in-the-life initiative featuring Penn alumni who tweet throughout their workday to give students and followers an idea of what it is like to work in a particular field. Alumni post for one day, but a transcript of tweets is archived on the website and alumni bios are posted in the career center’s blog.
- Employer Relations—Several career centers mentioned that social media had helped them expand the level of promotion of job and internship opportunities for students, in particular using Twitter to tweet about postings. Another example of engaging recruiters was California State University, Fullerton’s “Ask-an-Expert” initiative on LinkedIn. Recruiters were invited to have scheduled discussions with students and alumni in their career center’s LinkedIn group on a wide range of topics. Transcripts of the discussions were subsequently developed into articles that were distributed online and in print.
- Peer-to-Peer Advice—Blogging was very popular among career centers, and most featured student blogs to leverage peer-to-peer communication. This included blogs written by career center interns or student workers and blogs by students participating in internship and/or externship programs. Some were also using Facebook as a discussion forum for students. For example, using the Facebook discussion app, university career services at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill offered its annual “Big City Meet & Greet” event, which connects graduating seniors who were moving to the same major metropolitan areas in a digital environment instead of hosting the event on campus. The effort resulted in greater participation.
- Theme Days or Weeks—Using weekly or daily themes and topics was another example of ways that career centers were organizing their social media efforts, including theme days such as “Myth-busting Monday” or “Re-Tweet Tuesday.” Creating a content management calendar can be very helpful in planning weekly themes and topics. It can also create efficiency and synergy for all communications efforts, including print and web.
To find out more about the social media survey results, see “Career Center Social Media Implementation and Best Practices: Findings of a Nationwide Survey” from the April 2012 NACE Journal.