COLLEGE CAREER CENTERS NEED MAJOR UPDATING.
Modern technology has completely restructured how we network and interact with each other. Something as simple as a smartphone can keep you plugged into new skills, new contacts, and surprising career opportunities through online networking.
This new world of social media and digital networking does come with one hitch, however: the methods your parents and grandparents used to find jobs are quickly becoming obsolete. As with any technology, newer generations have to be prepared to find work in their own climate, not the one that came before.
“While there is no perceived administration hostility to the use of social media and virtually no external constraints on career center professionals employing social media, there appears to be little overt support for promoting its use.”
NACE Career Services Use of Social Media Technology
With this in mind it’s easy to see how college career centers are failing to give students effective and current skills. They simply aren’t responding to a diverse and changing job market – one that responds to, and relies on, digital networking.
Here are a few quick notes about Career Centers and where they fall short:
CAREER CENTER EMPLOYEES ARE TRADITIONALLY UNDERTRAINED
Career center professionals are typically under trained when it comes to social media for networking. In fact, many are not using social media effectively for themselves. There’s more emphasis on traditional resume reviews, interviewing techniques, career fairs, and applications through job boards rather than modern communication skills for relationship development and career building.
CAREER CENTERS DON’T TEACH NECESSARY NETWORKING & ENGAGEMENT SKILL BUILDING
Career centers are not teaching online communication skills that make job opportunity meetings happen. As a student in today’s job climate, you need lifelong communication skills to stay ahead. Students today face competition both online and in person – being able to interact socially is a huge must.
CAREER CENTERS ARE NOT LIKELY TO BE SOCIAL THEMSELVES
This is the big one. Your employers, your dream jobs, your opportunities and more are becoming more and more social. Chances are, when you look up the CEO or CFO of a company you want to work for, their LinkedIn profile will pop up front and center. In order to compete in a world that is driven by social networking and relationship building, you have to learn to navigate the social landscape. If the career center doesn’t use or teach networking skills for social engagement, then learning from their knowledge and examples is non-existent.
STUDENTS AND GRADS CAN BE PREPARED AND EMPOWERED IF THEY ARE WILLING TO TAKE THEIR OWN ACTIONS
Since career centers are not providing the innovative resources and teaching networking skills to find a job in today’s online world, you must take action for yourself. As a student or recent graduate, you don’t have time to wonder when your school is going to get on board with modern job searching practices. Therefore, your future is in your own hands and it’s time to become “your own career center”.
In order to find the career of your dreams, take the initiative to get the skills you need (and learn them before you need them).