There are more online resources, third-party apps, and services for career centers than ever. Your career center probably has a library of fantastic online resources scattered across various websites, portals and apps, which means they're most likely hard to find and potentially underutilized. Adding more resources might even confuse your audience base and set you up to compete with your current offerings, decreasing overall utilization.
Before you bring on another resource, whether it be for mentoring, interview prep, or even a whole new career services management system, we encourage you to consider two things...
- Where are all your existing resources housed, and how will you position your new resource to enhance your current offerings?
- How are you planning to promote the new resource in a way that will drive utilization?
At uConnect, we believe that there are two key steps to making sure all your audiences, including students, alumni, and employers, are using the awesome career resources you’ve spent time curating for them.
Whether you’re already a uConnect partner school, or are only exploring how our platform works, the high impact practices below serve as a foundation for the adoption and continued utilization of your offerings*
- Organize your resources in one place, under your own institutional umbrella
- All your resources living in one place can have a profound impact on utilization. If all relevant resources are located centrally, users only need to remember one place to go to find the value they're looking for.
- Your institutional brand is familiar and relevant to your audiences, meaning users will trust the resource and are more likely to engage. Also, the recognition that your office is providing this valueble resource creates an association that your office can help them in the future - whether through another resource, an on-campus event or even an advising appointment. Leading with multiple brands as value drivers for your students is just confusing.
- Categorize resources by audience and function so users can easily find what is available (and applicable) to them
- Make sure they're easily accessible – by mobile, tablet and even for students with disabilities
- Millennials need to see a marketing message up to 7 times before they act on it. Yes, 7 times. Design a marketing campaign that explains what the resource is, the benefit of using it, some best practices and then provide meaningful examples.
- Leverage the power of social proof. The vast majority of millennials trust their friends, family members, and even most strangers over what a corporation or brand would tell them. Ask a student to guest blog or submit a short testimonial about their experience with the resource.
- Share different messages to a targeted audiences across blogs, email and the most relevant social networks. A/B test them to find the types of messages that resonate with your students.
- Create an event around the new resource so students can get training, learn best practices and ask questions. Here, again, is a nice opportunity to enlist your student ambassadors to give others ideas about how it might work for them.
*Two short tips to follow: An effective campaign is likely to happen over several weeks. For uConnect clients, use your marketing calendar in your admin dashboard to schedule these marketing events and, for others, there are some great (and affordable) marketing calendars you might want to think about using. Lastly, make sure you're tracking engagement with your new (and old) resources. For uConnect clients, check your Insights dashboard regularly to see how usage is trending and, for others, you might explore using Google Analytics as a temporary solution.
So, remember. While new career tools and features can defintely elevate your offering and the value you provide to your community, they're not necesasrily going to solve the challenge of engaging students. Give your new resources the visibility they deserve: make sure they have a home, and you have a mechanism in place to promote them.