Career Services Competencies, Predictions for the Future, and Hugs

kevin grubbA post by NACE Guest Blogger, Kevin Grubb.
Assistant Director at Villanova University’s Career Center.
Twitter: @kevincgrubb
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevingrubb
Blog: “social @ edu”.

 If I had to sum it up what happened today at the NACE conference for me in as little words as possible, there you’d have it.  Let me cut right to the chase and tell you some of what I have learned today in my sessions, mixed in with some commentary on my part.

Career Services Competencies

This morning, members of a NACE task force on career services competencies, Laura Melius and Sam Ratcliffe, debuted the association’s career services competencies.  What a cohesive, thorough document.  It describes, from basic to intermediate to advanced, the skill set needed to be successful in career services.  There’s no way I could possibly explain it all in a blog post, so let me tell you where to find it right now: on your mobile device, download the NACE conference app.  From the home screen, click on “More” in the bottom right corner.  Then, click on “Resources,” and then click on “Career Services Competencies.”  There you’ll have it!  NACE will also be releasing this on their website soon.

What I definitely can share with you is all of the ways our group thought the competencies would be helpful in our everyday practices.  Here’s just a little bit of what we brainstormed:

The competencies can help us…

  • With the performance management process and staff development, using the competencies as a benchmark to start from
  • Create and change job descriptions of positions within offices to match what is needed at a college or university
  • Demonstrate where staff or the office needs to get resources, to improve budgets for professional development and staffing
  • Show senior leadership at our institutions what we do and what we need to do
  • In the recruiting process for our offices: we can assess candidates’ competencies in interviews

And where do we see the competencies going from here?  Sam made it clear that this is a “living document” – one that we should consider for revision and review regularly.  As our jobs and the career services landscape continues to evolve, so should the competencies.  There will be a feedback form on the NACE website with the document for us all to add our voices.  In addition, NACE plans to build a continuum of learning & resources based on this competency guide.  There is talk of creating a certification program based on the competencies, though that will take time to properly develop.  After looking at the document myself, I am excited to see where this could lead us.  Take a look!

The Future of Career Services

One of my afternoon sessions was this one, led by Tom Devlin, Tom Halasz, and Marilyn Mackes.  I’ll start off by saying – this was packed!  Here’s a quick shot of the room which does not do it justice (I tried):

Tom, Tom & Marilyn put together a thought-provoking, conversation-starting, and funny presentation.  Smart & funny is a combination I think of like cookies & milk – they are good alone, and even better together.  Each of these three had that mix of both.

The presentation centered around three major points, and I’ll the cliff notes version here to help you get a flavor of it.  Would love to hear your thoughts on the future of career services, too, so please share in a comment!

The higher education landscape is dramatically changing.  Colleges & universities have limited resources and revenue.  The growth period for high school graduates is officially over, and will be in a decline for the next 10-20 years.  MOOCs, social media, and other technologies are shifting how work gets done and the expectations of students.  On top of that, there are several initiatives at the state and federal level that seek to define the outcomes or “ROI” of higher education.

Sounds pretty grim, yes?  I almost hid under my chair (…kidding).  In challenge, lies opportunity, and that’s there we, career services, come in.  Cue emphatic and uplifting trumpet sounds.

Now, we have the opportunity to define ourselves as campus-wide career services leaders, partnering with faculty who may need us more than ever.  For many, we may want to consider focusing on more than just the first-year experience, but consider the sophomore experience.  How are we providing support to students at a critical time in their academic lives – when many choosing or honing in on majors and some of the tough decisions?

Where could this all be going?  Tom Devlin provided some of his thoughts going forward, which included: online appointment scheduling with an interactive and customized response to the appointment scheduler’s needs.  So, when a student consider pre-med enters that in to their appointment notes for the counselor, a sort of “road map” for exploring pre-med options appears and suggests ideas for the student.  Tom suggests we may be focusing as much or more on internships as we are right now on post-graduate opportunities.  They are becoming the “first job” for everyone.  Perhaps we will develop better relationships with third-party providers who can help us perform some tasks we need to complete, but are not as high on our list of priorities.

What I thought was most interesting about this session was that Tom, Tom, and Marilyn opened up the floor to hear our thoughts and “predictions” for the future.  I’ll share mine and hope that it allows you to share yours on this blog in a comment.

One of my specialties is definitely social media.  Yes, I am a millennial, but no, I don’t spend all day on it – I promise.  Anyway, I teach a 1 credit class I created at Villanova on how students can use social media in their job searches.  What I am noticing from that, when I reflect on the bigger picture of a lot of their questions and concerns, is this.  We need to help students jump this psychological hurdle of looking at themselves as students to begin considering themselves as professionals.  With social media, the “personal” and “professional” world collide, and it happens for students faster and sooner than ever before.  Whereas one funny, perhaps not most impressing moment was private before, now it might be public and online for unknown others to view via social media.  If we can help students understand themselves, their skills, and their experiences as professional and valuable, they are much more likely to feel proud and confident talking about all of this online.  Then, they attract others with similar professional interests to them, and thus become better networked and viewed more favorably by those in seats of recruiting.

At the end of the first full day at the conference, the only other big reflection I have is that today there was so much hugging.  Hugs and warm greetings around every corner I turned, and I am actually not exaggerating.  So, if I can send you one non career services or recruiting related item from Orlando, it’s a hug from everyone at the NACE conference.

#NACE13: Let the Countdown Begin

Sarah MartinA post by Guest Blogger, Sarah Martin, College Relations and Social Media Recruiter, Garmin International

Twitter: @workatgarmin

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/SarahMartin1

#NACE13. My first NACE conference! I’ve been looking forward to this event for months and am so honored to participate as a guest blogger. My background? I’ve been recruiting for 9 years, the last 3 of which have been exclusively college recruitment at Garmin International. A year ago we started incorporating social media into our company recruitment efforts, which has been an extremely interesting and educational adventure. I’m so thankful to have a mentor who has paved the way for social media within Garmin! Our current recruitment efforts, with regards to social media, are primarily focused on Twitter (@workatgarmin). There are so many avenues to reach potential candidates, we are continually evaluating the most strategic and effective ways to connect with our target audience.

It’s amazing to think about how much my role as a recruiter has changed over the last (almost) decade. When I started recruiting, the company I worked for (a progressive healthcare system) had paper applications. We filled our openings by attending career fairs and other recruitment events. Today at Garmin (an innovative technology company), we accept online applications, attend virtual career fairs, host a variety of recruitment events, and are inserting ourselves into the ever changing world of social media as it relates to recruitment. One thing that hasn’t changed? The value of networking. I look forward to meeting a variety of individuals at #NACE13: Career Services Representatives, College Recruiters, and other industry experts.

There are so many great workshops to attend, I’m not sure if I will be able to fit everything in. I’m lucky that a co-worker of mine is also attending, so we can tag team. Now comes the time to get strategic and prioritize! One workshop at the top of my list is “Social Media and College Recruits: Bring an “A Game.” The title alone speaks my language, and a bonus is that the presenter is an expert on this topic. Sign me up!

I’m happy to share the information I learn at #NACE13. Please stay tuned, because I will be blogging throughout the course of the conference, and I’m open to any questions/feedback.

Best Practices for Live Tweeting at #NACE13

Heather TranenA post by Guest Blogger, Heather Tranen
Associate Director, Global Communications & Strategic Outreach, NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development
Twitter: @htranen
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/heathertranen

The days of high brow, intellectual conversation at conferences are over.

Well, maybe not over, but thanks to social media platforms like Twitter, things are getting a little more fun and dynamic. 

 

Live tweeting allows attendees to stay engaged by live tweeting their thoughts on speakers and content throughout different workshops. This both builds connections within those at the conference, and also includes the twitterverse as a whole in the conversation.

Although Emily Post did not provide us with insight into proper live tweetng etiquette, Twitter Media provides a good guide. I figured I would also give you my two cents on effective live tweeting. Whether you’re a first time tweeter, or a veteran, in anticipation of #NACE13, these are my…

Top 5 Live Tweeting Best Practices 

1. Save #NACE13 so you can see what’s happening  Hootsuite.com is my platform of choice for organizing social networks. I call it my control station because the site allows you to view multiple social networks and save streams. Save #NACE13 as a stream so you can view all of the fabulous insight your peers share throughout the conference.

 

 2. When it comes to Hashtags, It’s Quality Not Quantity  #Feel #like #you #see #hashtags #everywhere? The “pound sign,” as my mother calls it, is a great way to build community, see what’s trending, host contests and facilitate Twitter chats. If used strategically (and not excessively), a hashtag expands engagement amongst followers, and even increases your number of followers. For our purposes, we will discuss how to use hashtags while live Tweeting at the upcoming NACE conference. You’ll want to use the designated event hashtag, #NACE13 for any tweets relating to the conference. During the conference, you can use the #NACE13 when tweeting about the different workshops, networking opportunities, or delicious meals that occur over the course of the event. You can also think of using other relevant hashtags along with it. 

Not to tweet:

Why not tweet this? First, it looks like a 13-year-old girl wrote it. Second, only two of these hashtags serve any relevance to us as grownup professionals who can eat ice cream for dinner if they feel like it.
To Tweet:

This is a great tweet because it is short, includes two relevant hashtags, and speaks kindly of me. A+. 

3. Now that we’re friends, expand your network For introverts like me, cyberspace is a great place to start making connections (not in a creepy way). By viewing what others are saying within the #NACE13 stream, you can engage by retweeting (RT), or relpying. A few tips when engaging in a live tweet: 

If you modify someone’s tweet, make sure to change the RT to Modified Tweet (MT) to indicate you changed content within the tweet.

If you are mentioning someone and you want all of Twitter to know, make sure that you put their handle in the middle of the tweet. If it’s at the beginning only those who are following both of you will see the tweet.

A tweet heard around the Twitterverse:

 Just me, you, and our mutual followers:

4. Don’t be “that” person You know the type. It’s the same person who doesn’t realize you’re sleeping with your eyes open while they tell the story about their epic trip to Vegas 10 years ago for the seven thousandth time. Don’t be that guy or gal. Make sure you aren’t taking up the Twitterverse with all your tweets and there’s variety in the stream. Within your tweets, keep it interesting and throw in a picture, or even a Vine! No one likes to read anymore, just ask college students.

5. Take the conversation offline Introversion aside, we know that we live in an extroverted world. It’s important that we are not only extremely charming and engaging in the online space, but that we also talk to people in real life. I encourage you to join the Tweetup, sponsored by Macy’s, on Tuesday from 9-10pm where you will meet the tweeps you’ve been tweeting with in the real world (I know, terrifying).

Overall, live tweeting is just one of the many ways to enrich your experience and be an active participant at #NACE13! I look forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks!

 

How I’m Getting Ready for NACE 2013

kevin grubbA post by NACE Guest Blogger, Kevin Grubb.
Assistant Director at Villanova University’s Career Center.
Twitter: @kevincgrubb
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevingrubb
Blog: “social @ edu”.

 

It’s officially Spring in Pennsylvania. I can tell because of the things you’d expect to notice in Spring: the sun is shining, the trees are blooming, and it’s still light outside even when I’m eating dinner.  But, I can also tell because all over campus at Villanova, backpacks are overflowing, notes are being taken at furious pace, and laptops are needing charge at all hours of the day.  I’ve been there myself, and I’d know this look anywhere: it’s finals season, for sure.

As I start to think ahead to a quieter campus after the academic year concludes, I can’t help but get excited about one of the high points of summer: the NACE 2013 conference.  I’ve been fortunate to attend the NACE conference twice since my start in the field of career services, and I’m looking forward to making the third time the charm.

It’s an honor to be a guest blogger for the NACE conference this year, and I solemnly swear to do my best to provide valuable tips, notes, and ideas I learn in my posts.  In the spirit of that, I thought I’d kick things off by sharing some of the ways I’m preparing myself for the trip this year.  To start, I offer you NACE’s conference website (pictured below), which is full of info to help you get moving.

The NACE 2013 Conference home page

The NACE 2013 Conference home page

And here are some of my specific to dos (some completed, some yet to be done):

  • Tweeted that I’ll be attending the conference and used #NACE13 to see who else might be going in my network (and to see who I might meet in person!)
  • I already looked the conference schedule of events to make sure I booked my flights accordingly, but I’m looking again now to familiarize myself with everything
  • Read up on the keynote speakers – after watching his video, I am particularly excited for Jeremy Gutsche, but to be honest they all look interesting
  • Begin to determine who I’d like to visit in the Exhibitors area at the conference.  I’ve gotten to meet some people I’ve only spoken with on the phone and learn about some really useful products at the NACE conference.  But, just like I tell students about career fairs, it’s important to have an idea of who I really want to see so I don’t get overwhelmed in the room.
  • Review the list of conference Workshops and pick some of my favorites, specifically the “must haves.”  Sometimes, I pick workshops because they are directly related to my role or work in the office, and sometimes I pick one or two because they will stretch me professionally.  At the conference, I like to have a mix of being both a conversation contributor and an observer in awe.  Picking the right workshops is a strategic move for me.
  • Look up something fun to do in Orlando!  I always have fun while I’m at the conference, and looking up some evening activities will make it even more enjoyable.  It’s not quite a “vacation,” but maybe something in between.  A “vayconference” perhaps?

So, that’s where I’ve started.  How are you preparing for NACE 13?  I’d be interested to hear your tips, too.