Building a Bond Between a Career Counselor and a Student
Career counselors provide a valuable service to students attending college. Not only do they serve as mentors for students and recent graduates, career counselors also link potential employers to the talent offered by the school or university. However, this cannot be done if your career services office does not have a good relationship with students on campus. Fostering good student relationships helps not only the students, but the office as a whole. If your career services office is having trouble connecting with students, use the following tips to help bring them in.
Why is Making a Connection Important?
You want students to come to you of course, but foot traffic should not be your only goal. Making a true connection means that you need to be willing to really get to know the students on your campus, and will remember who they are when they walk in. In addition, every time they visit, you need to be prepared to provide them with sound advice. Your aim is to guide students, and you cannot do that if you do not understand what their needs are and how you can help.
Tips for Building Better Relationships with Students
One of the key ingredients in building better relationships with students is to get involved in the types of activities that students take part in. This can be done both physically on campus and through social media. For example, campus-wide events are a great way to connect your department with students. While you are out there manning a booth or holding information sessions, you can pass out information about your office and give away items that might hold value to students, such as current openings and internship opportunities. Do not forget the business cards, since the students will need to know how to contact you in the future.
If you decide to also go the social media route, do not just set up a Facebook page or Twitter account and tweet about yourselves. Social media is for engagement, which means you also have to interact with others on it. Like a few posts, or post some questions that encourage students to reply to you.
What Happens After?
After you begin bringing in the students, the real work begins. Now is the time to serve as a mentor/guide to their future careers. But do not simply hand them a listing and send them on their way. Really get to know the student and find out what their goals are, then work to match them up with something that will truly be to their benefit.
Building relationships with students is a rewarding experience that will go a long way in their career success, which should be your ultimate goal.