College Career Services go Social to Connect Students and Employers

June 3, 2013

College students need little encouragement to use social media to interact with their classmates, family and friends, but many are still leery of using the platforms when it comes to seeking employment. Only 20 percent of college career center professionals felt students were enthusiastic about using social media as part of their job search process, according to the Career Services Use of Social Media Technologies survey, conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) on behalf of the Career Advisory Board, established by DeVry University.

“Ninety percent of all career services departments now use social media platforms to target their students and provide them with career information,” says Ed Koc, director of strategic and foundation research, NACE. “But we aren’t seeing students use these readily available tools for professional networking.”

This finding underscores the fact that students aren’t accessing important resources of college career services that might really help them move their job searches forward.

The new research also indicates that while college career services are increasingly turning to social media to communicate with students, they haven’t yet found the right mix of information and dialogue to truly engage them.

“While college career services have come a long way in embracing social media over the past five years as a tool to communicate with students, there is still room for improvement,” says J.T. O’Donnell, career strategist, workplace consultant and Career Advisory Board member.

For instance, 38.9 percent of career centers participating in the survey expressed disappointment with the fact that the level of student engagement didn’t increase after instituting a social media presence.

“Career centers that implement a strategic approach to their social media efforts – those that create and distribute meaningful, timely content across channels are going to see an uptick in student engagement,” says O’Donnell.

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