It’s that time of year when students are starting to head back to colleges and universities across the country for the spring semester. An important area that can often be overlooked when heading back is that area that helps bridge the gap between students and the big bad world of the jobs market… Career Services.
This department can play a crucial role in helping students to not only put their best foot forward online and also at an interview, but as a result they can help you get the job you’re aiming for straight out of college. After going through a wide range of different career services pages, there are 4 key things that career services can do to help out students.
- London School of Economics – It’s a marathon not a sprint.
- NUI Galway – Using a balance of original and other accounts’ content.
- Princeton University – Think Outside the Box.
- Aston University & UCD – Utilise the personal profile feature of LinkedIn.
These 4 were selected because several publications highlighted them to be amongst the top careers services around. At the same time they give a national and international perspective on how careers services are evolving across the world.
London School of Economics – Consistency is Crucial
From the research, the London School of Economics was one of the highest scoring career services accounts according to Followerwonk. After analysis of their social media accounts it’s easy to see why. We are living in an era where information and content is moving at a faster and faster rate. The challenge of this is consistency. Very often you will come across accounts whose activity can be in fits and bursts. The problem with this is that they can be left behind quickly and if people see nothing has been put up for say a few weeks, then they may unfollow you. The LSE careers service is a great example of how to stay consistent. Not only that but the content they post and tweet deals with events for students as well as application deadlines.
They are dealing with content in the here and now. As well as this, they have an ideal balance on both platforms.
- Facebook 2-3 posts a day (posts were even going out over Christmas).
- Twitter 7-8 tweets as day (the half life of a Tweet is 24 minutes so there is no such thing as too many Tweets).
This consistency means people know that if they follow/like the LSE pages there will be regular and relevant content. I will also go back to another important point with social media:
Its a marathon not a sprint.
NUI Galway: Using a Balance of Original and Curated Content
When it comes to social media, a problem that happens for everyone is constantly finding new content to put up. When it comes to original content, the challenge of this is obvious. The time it takes to do! That’s why it’s important to balance up the content you put out between curated and original content and NUIG Career Services does a great job of this. If you quickly scan their Twitter feed (whose focus is on their careers fair) their content can be split into:
- Original content that they created.
- Internal content – This is content from other departments in the university.
- External content – This is info from news sources, recruitment associations and businesses.
The goal of this is simple: Their Twitter profile is a one-stop shop for students when it comes to all things career news.
Their Facebook page is very much focused on students and upcoming events for them as well as posting news about jobs announcements. I also like how they use videos featuring employers and giving students advice on how to get their first job out of college. In a nutshell, when it comes to NUIG their careers services from a social media standpoint focuses on events.
Princeton University – Think outside the box when using social media.
While LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are seen as the obvious networks for careers services to use, Princeton have shown that thinking outside the box can be a great idea. They ranked number 1 for their careers services on social media and a quick browse of their portfolio shows why. The two areas that stood out for me that other colleges can utilise are:
- Pinterest – I really like how Princeton’s career services have harnessed the boards on their Pinterest page to help answer students’ questions in a visual way. From resume tips, to behind the scenes at their office, to infographics on careers advice – they have done a great job. The easy-to-navigate nature of Pinterest also means that the Pinterest page can be a one-stop shop for any questions students may have. I would definitely recommend that careers services adopt Pinterest into their social media accounts.
- Instagram – With more and more people joining Instagram this is another great tool that can be used to help students throughout college. The key takeaways from Princeton’s Instagram page would be have a mix of event photos, advice/feedback from students and images of university landmarks. These all help create a more rounded image of the profile while also achieving the most important thing, providing students with value.
Aston University and UCD – Utilising the Personal Profile Feature of LinkedIn
For many careers service groups the obvious way to use LinkedIn is to set up a group/page and start building things from there. However as both UCD and Aston University show, creating a personal profile is the smartest approach to take. Where a page may only allow you to fill out details and create posts while groups have more interaction by using a personal profile it allows careers services to:
- Create detailed bios and background information as well as projects.
- Thanks to Slideshare, presentations can be added to the profile.
- Connections can be made directly with students, lecturers, recruiters and potential employers.
- LinkedIn Pulse can be utilised (for example UCD follow education, careers and recruiting).
- Companies can be followed.
- LinkedIn Posts can be published and everyone who is following the profile will get a notification.
- Awards and honours can be included and promoted (e.g. Aston University has won numerous awards for their careers services).
All of these features are open to the careers services and as a result they can engage and improve their social authority and reputation by being able to engage with students and employers.
BlueChief’s Top Three Tips for Career Services
From the career services profiles highlighted you can see there are many ways that social media can be harnessed not only to engage with students but also with potential employers. The top three tips we here are BlueChief Social would give are:
- Consistency is key – Putting out regular content will help build a link with followers. The goal here is to become their go to for all things to do with career advice.
- Use LinkedIn Personal Profiles – As UCD and Aston University show this allows you to use all the features of LinkedIn. With LinkedIn viewed as the social network for professionals it is crucial to maximise your exposure and as a result build a social reputation.
- Think outside the box – Pinterest is an interesting alternative to the three traditional channels. As Princeton university shows, the boards can be used to answer many questions, the difference this time being it’s in a visual and easy to digest manner.
Want to learn more?
We provide training services ranging from half day to full day workshops covering the key tools to use, identifying the best channels to use and developing a usable strategy for your department. For more info check out our workshops page. You can also check us out on Twitter and Facebook.