March 18, 2020
Career Services Going Digital? 5 Things You Can Do NOW
In this new era of navigating COVID-19, your campus is going totally online. If you work in a career center, your livelihood may consist of helping students face-to-face with career decision-making, resume writing, job search prep, mock interviews, and career fairs. Now you have to deliver these services at a distance—and prove to university administrators that you can do so effectively. How do you make this happen? Here are five things that you can do TODAY.
- Communicate. If you haven’t done so already, pull together a thorough but concise statement that details, using bullet points, all of the services your office will still offer. Include instructions and links so your university community understands how they can access these services remotely. Publish this to your career center’s website, and send out the link via social media. Work within your university communications structure to include it in an e-mail to your university community.
- Webinars. Most likely your office runs workshops on things like choosing a major, applying for internships, embarking on a job search, and so on. These can relatively easily be turned into webinars using one of several available webinar platforms. Plan a live webinar series for the rest of the semester, and announce topics and dates. Save recorded webinars after they happen and publish them to your site so students who can’t attend live can access them later.
- Online Career Guidance Systems. If you’ve considered purchasing access to online career guidance systems for your students, now is the time to dive in. PathwayU offers reliable and valid assessment of interests, values, personality, and workplace preferences; a career match tool that helps students identify career paths predicted to fit them well; a job search tool that helps students identify open jobs (via Handshake or Indeed) based on zip code and their predicted level of fit; tools and resources for helping students prepare for a job search; and an empirically-supported workbook that guides students in making sense of their results. Concerned about turning these services into a self-directed exercise? Don’t be. The system directs students to your office’s scheduling system (or an e-mail address or phone number), so they can make an appointment for a videoconference or phone call to discuss results and plan next steps.
- Create an online community. Online communities are a powerful way to facilitate support for a large number of students throughout each week. Choose one of several available platforms, or create a group in Facebook, and deliver content you can curate (e.g., articles, blogposts, TEDx talks, discussion questions). Students can consume the content and comment, post their own questions, and encourage and support each other. Assign one of your staff members to make running the community part of their daily routine.
- Target alumni. Work with your alumni office to make the above services available to alumni. Many alumni are now working remotely, have already lost their jobs, or feel vulnerable and are preparing for their next steps. They need support. The COVID-19 era will pass, and when it does, they will remember the help they received from your office. Good things will come from that—things that make administrators happy, and things that will shine a light on the value your office offers your community.
If you need assistance with preparing for online delivery of services, contact us at 970-222-7636 or firstname.lastname@example.org.