A newsletter-style blog we'll be publishing every second Wednesday of the month. In the Memo, you'll find practical advice and best practices for using your uConnect platform, inspiration from other partner schools, news from the uConnect community, and more!
Bentley University (the first ever adopter of uConnect!) is indisputably a leader in career services. If you haven't already, check out their CareerEdge platform for ideas and inspiration. One of the many things the Bentley team does well is highlighting student and alumni success stories through regularly published blogs. Bentley is also great at leveraging their student team members, who actually produce two alumni and student success blog campaigns, '#MyCareerStoryMonday' and '#Hired.' Last month, we had the chance to hear from Caroline Gervais, the student CareerEdge Colleague Director who is behind these great projects.
What inspired #MyCareerStoryMonday and #HIRED?
I started #MyCareerStoryMonday last year as a way to highlight the wide variety of internship and job opportunities that Bentley students have experienced. During my own internship search, I found that determining what different jobs and internships actually entailed was one of the hardest parts, so I wanted to find a way to help other students navigate that. I had been playing with the idea of expanding #HIRED, and that led me onto the idea of creating a whole new series that would feature a different student every week. When I presented the idea to the office, they loved it, and when I published the first one, we got an amazing response so I really think it’s a helpful way to showcase all of the amazing career opportunities that a Bentley education can lead to. This year, I passed the #MyCareerStoryMonday baton to one of our new Career Colleagues and I’m very excited that it’s become a lasting component of our CareerEdge blogging strategy. Our students love being featured, and we love sharing their stories!
#HIRED has been around for a while and was started with the intention of celebrating the career accomplishments of our students. However, it serves a dual purpose as it also showcases the different opportunities that Bentley students partake in. So, it’s both a celebratory and educational tool that gets students in the office (so we can take their picture) and gets them excited to embark on their new opportunity. It also helps other students see the different combinations of skills that our students have and how that then translates into everything, from working for EY to growing a family business to working at Disney World, etc.
How do you select the students/alumni to feature?
For #MyCareerStoryMonday, we reach out to different students that we know have accepted full time positions via email and ask them if they’d be willing to share their career story on CareerEdge by filling out a questionnaire. The students tend to be people that myself or other Career Colleagues know, or students that the career coaches have worked with—but we do our best in showcasing a wide range of job opportunities and career paths. It has become a great tool in showing that career paths are not necessarily linear and how there are many different ways to achieve your dream job—and “become the CEO of your life.”
For #HIRED, we tend to reach out to students in the same way we do for #MyCareerStoryMonday. However, this year my Career Colleague team put together a new outreach plan in the hopes of boosting awareness of the #HIRED project so we can feature even more students!
What is the value of these posts for your students and community?
Both of these initiatives are valuable to our students and the Bentley community in a variety of ways. First, they build morale by celebrating the accomplishments of our students. Next, they provide awareness and educate other students about different career opportunities. Lastly, they connect students to each other because by featuring Bentley students/alumni, if someone reads a #MyCareerStoryMonday or #HIRED and is interested in the position or company that is featured in it, they immediately have someone to connect with to learn more about that experience!
CHAPTER 1: MAKE YOUR SITE BEAUTIFUL EPISODE 4: TEXT
The text on your platform should always be concise and explanatory. The meat of your content will live in your tools and resources, not in the words on your pages and communities.
Keep it Short
The goal of your platform is to consolidate and situate the resources and tools you already have. You want to make it as easy as possible for students to find what they need in order to achieve positive career outcomes. What you definitely don’t want is students coming to your platform and getting lost or disinterested on lengthy, text heavy pages. The meat of information -- the actual nitty gritty about how to nail an interview or what it’s like to be an immigration lawyer -- lives in your resources and tools. The text you need to add on your pages and communities will serve to help students figure out which resources to visit for what purpose, and it should be concise and explanatory. In general, it is best to avoid having much content ‘below the fold’, meaning the parts of your page that one must scroll down to see.
It all comes back to consistency! Consistent formatting makes your platform clean, organized, and easy to navigate. Decide with your team which font size you’ll use for titles, sub-titles, and text. When will you use bullets, bold, italics, or underlining?
A great trick for keeping things organized on pages is using the Table feature in your page (or community page) editor.
This will keep your text (or images and videos!) in line and formatted correctly when you have multiple separate items to describe on one page. Here are a couple examples of the table in action:
Content and Placement
Here are a few best practices for text content and placement:
- Utilize the text overlay header space to provide a brief explanation for each of your Career Communities. Alternatively, you can add introductory text below the header. Either way, providing visitors with a quick overview of the community is a great way to reduce confusion and draw people in.
- In addition, many schools have a ‘What Are Career Communities’ page that they use to market and explain their Communities. We highly recommend adding a page like this if you don’t already have one! Here a few examples for inspiration:
- Encourage engagement with your resources by including a brief description of the resource that will appear in the resource tile on the resource page. Then, use the resource’s individual landing page to provide a more in-depth explanation of what the resource is and how it’s useful. Here’s an example.
The resource tile with a a brief, two sentence description:
The resource's landing page with a slightly longer, more in-depth description:
And here's how to format it in your editor:
- Last but not least, market and humanize your office by including an informative and fun bio for each of your team members on the staff page! And don’t forget to add headshots as well. Need a refresher on how to do that? Check out this article!
Welcome to the newest members of the uConnect community! Great things are ahead.
- We have two new integration partners! Graduway and Engage by CampusLabs. Learn all about these integrations, and the value of technical integrations for student experience here.
- We're pleased to announce our recent strategic partnership with GradLeaders. Together, uConnect and Gradleaders allow you to easily bring the outcome data you collect with GradLeaders to life with uConnect's Outcome Data Visualization tool, and to promote and curate the jobs and events that live in your GradLeaders job board on your uConnect platform. Read the press release here!
The following partner schools are having their uConnect birthdays (aka anniversary of platform launch, but more fun).
Happy 1st Birthday to:
Happy 3rd Birthday to:
Check out articles published over the past month and get in the know!
- Organize your blog into themes
- Organize text and images with the Table tool
- And in case you missed it, we updated our online uConnect training last month! Start fresh this year by reviewing the training, or share it with a member of your team who hasn't yet completed the training.