Top 10 Tips for Career Centers to Increase Student Engagement

Every year, the GradLeaders team hosts an annual conference, and every year we hear about current challenges in career services and uncover potential solutions to engage more students with the career center and help more students find their dream job. But reaching students, especially today’s generation, can be difficult. Gallup recently reported that only about 16% of students visited their career center and found it helpful. After partnering with more than 1,000 career centers over the last 30+ years, we sit in the perfect position to offer advice and best practices for increasing these numbers.

 Here are our top 10 tips for driving student engagement with your career center:

  1. Use outbound marketing to reach your students including email and social media campaigns. Try to keep the cadence of messages consistent by following a scheduled time interval (i.e. every Tuesday). Check out these tips when communicating with the next generation.
  2. Develop a consistent brand voice and look that your students and employer partners recognize. Your students know and trust your brand. Define the tone and style you’d like to portray when communicating with students and use this in all messages coming from your office. A good starting point is to develop a brand handbook so everyone on your team is aligned.
  3. Gamify milestones and tasks for students. Take advantage of the gamification built into GradLeaders’ software via the student scorecard. Explore the idea of creating competitions amongst cohorts or class years and consider raffling off a prize for the winner.
  4. Take advantage of Single Sign-On technology. In short, this makes it possible for users to sign in with one set of login credentials and access many different applications within a platform. Today’s students expect a seamless user experience and will be more likely to interact with the various elements of your platform with this feature enabled.
  5. Leverage your employer partnerships. Offer helpful events for your students and invite employer partners to play an active role. This can be virtual or in person. We love the concept of a social media takeover or having employers meet with students to offer resume advice.
  6. Use assessments as a starting point for students exploring various career pathways. There are plenty of free assessments that require zero implementation such as 16Personalities. Fun and interactive assessments that don’t require students to step foot into your career center offer a great option. Other great assessments include The Whether’s Soft Skills and Values Survey, CPP/ MBTi and YouScience.
  7. Showcase helpful resources in a virtual hub so students can easily access anytime, anywhere. Students want to digest information on their time. Take advantage of the GradLeaders Resource Library to house all your important documents such as resume templates, guides, and evergreen content in organized, electronic folders.
  8. Promote connecting and researching employers before, during and after the career fair. Be sure to let students know well before employers step foot on campus so they can properly conduct research. Don’t be afraid to post live footage from the event and be sure your students know how to properly follow-up with employers they connected with, prior to the event. One tool we love that makes this easy is The Whether. Encourage to #checkTheWhether throughout the year to discover right-fit career pathways and employers based off their skills and values.
  9. Automate your experiential learning, Co-Op, and internship program. One huge place you can save your and your students time is in managing your experiential learning workflow. Between the signatures, reminders and milestones, it can take hours upon hours to administer this process manually. With the most robust Co-Op platform on the market, we can help save you time!
  10. Keep detailed reporting metrics of all career center activities. By monitoring all of your virtual and in-person activities, as well as student and employer activity, you can easily identify areas for improvement at a granular level. Looker offers a visually appealing way to monitor the metrics that matter.

Other ideas or tips? Leave them in the comments below:


Ryan Pratt

Marketing and Business Development

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