National Career Development Month: What You Can Do for Your Students

 In Advising, Best Practices, Career Services, CSM, Tips and Tricks

As the fall semester winds down, November offers a perfect time to reflect on career efforts for both students and employers. November is National Career Development Month, created by the National Career Development Association for a time where “career development professionals are encouraged to celebrate with career related activities.” Utilize this month to encourage your students to get a jump start on the job search and career development activities. For universities students, the looming job prospects for them during a pandemic, has made the job of preparing students for the workforce even more critical.

Despite unrelenting negative news stream of COVID-19 unemployment, there is some good news. According to NACE Report’s COVID-19 Quick Poll Series, large companies are more likely to recruit virtual during the 20-21 academic year. This is as employers have adapted to the “new normal” and now recruiting virtually and have started to pick up since the early days of the pandemic. According to the NACE report, more than 15% of companies with more than 20,000 employees will recruit virtually this year. This is followed by 14.3% of organizations with 10,001 to 20,000 employees and 13.3% of companies with 5,001 to 10,000 employees “

So what does that mean for career services? While InsideHigherEd’s Editor, Paul Fain, writes that despite numbers of student’s dissatisfaction with faculty and staff to help with job preparation, those that did engage with their students for postsecondary options reported that they felt college was well worth the cost and that there is a growing “a broad acknowledgment that career exploration should be part of a good college education.” Thus, there is an urgent need for career services professional to help their students find career paths and November’s Career Development Month can be the perfect time to get the ground running.

Here are some virtual offerings you can do with your students:

  • Connect with faculty and staff about ways that coursework can directly translate to the job market by partnering with faculty;
  • Reach out to your minority, low-income, and first-generation college students to learn what specific resources they need during this uncertain time.
  • Utilize the winding down of the semester to provide diversity and equity training to better support your students who may be facing mental health, home, and other challenges that have been exacerbated because of the pandemic;
  • Offer workshops on how to “nail the virtual interview” utilizing virtual career fairs;
  • Hold small group student sessions so you can gauge what your students are wanting out of your office, what programming they need, and what they are worried about;
  • Set up virtual mock interviews, resume reviews, cover letter workshops, and virtual job searching workshops.

Through Symplicity CSM career services staff can maintain student retention by actively engaging with their students all in one platform. While in-person information sessions, classroom presentations, and sporadic interactions with students may not exist for fall 2020, there are other ways career services can compel students to stay with a university with the customizable services provided by CSM. Providing student support can continue by holding virtual career fairs with employers, connecting employers directly to students who meet their qualifications (all visible through the CSM platform), or have employers collect resumes to empower employers with the means to find the right candidate. Career services staff can, in turn, provide 24/7 student resume critiques and support, segment and target virtual jobs and internships directly to students at a time when the virtual world is becoming the new reality.

Whether students need to schedule an appointment, have their resumes reviewed, search for jobs or internships, network with alumni, or research the latest industry trends, universities can continue to provide excellent career services virtually through the flexibility and customization offered by Symplicity CSM.

For more information about virtualizing student services, email info@symplicity.com or schedule a conversation.

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