We are battling a situation that the world has never seen before. The virus outbreak which started in China has gripped the entire world with several thousands losing their lives and livelihood. Business disruptions we are witnessing right now is unparalleled in the history and all the major economies have come to a standstill. We will emerge out of this crisis soon, hopefully, and we need to start thinking about the future. With Job prospects looking bleak in general and low hiring expected to happen at least for next few months, students could be anxious about their chances of finding suitable opportunities. Career Services play a pivotal role in keeping students motivated, help them sail through this crisis and help them find the right opportunities.
Career Services need to think how is the career services team handling the current situation. Are they in regular touch with the students and employers or has the career services team become dysfunctional since the campus is closed and are waiting for things to rebound? Several prominent institutions such as DeVry University are running their Career Services very effectively online. If you are not doing enough support for your students right now, you are losing the trust of your student community. It is important to engage and collaborate virtually. Also, you have to engage with your employer partners and also inform students about the jobs in the open job market. The question you might have is how do I do this.
Career Services need to plan, augment the resources needed and engage students and employers like never before. They should plan for seminars, workshops, motivation sessions, trainings, job fairs etc now and should be executed aggressively virtually.
This is what we think you should be doing as a career services staff:
- Share relevant content with students on a daily basis. Content could be on some kind of training/learning materials, motivational speeches, or maybe something you have prepared on any topic (could be a video, Powerpoint presentation, word document etc) that can engage students and provide some value add and motivation.
- Conduct virtual events such as webinars weekly on relevant topics
- Organize virtual interactions with imminent personalities as much as possible.
- Motivate students to think about what they do after college reopens – plan for the events
- Allow students to set appointments with you and meet them online using WebEx and Zoom.
- Ask students to get their resume ready and you approve the resume documents online
- Share Internship and job opportunities with students on a daily basis from the open job market.
- Conduct regular surveys and keep analysing students’ feedback. It could be related to an event you have conducted or planning to conduct, or it could be on a generic topic to keep them engaged.
- Engage with recruiters, try to get them involved in your webinars and virtual recruiting events. They could also speak to your students on various topics. There are many remote opportunities out there and many companies are planning for future.
Remember, being in constant touch with students is the important activity you can do. Career Centres should engage more and collaborate with the students in this situation to help them see through it. If you are not equipped enough to do this just because you don’t have the right technology in place to scale up your engagement levels, try looking at platforms such as Cynaptx.