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How to Boost Your Student Career Support Services

By: Ready Education on 15-Jun-2023 04:14:38
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How can you provide the best student career support possible to prepare your students for their professional futures? As a higher education institution, it is your responsibility to support students from the moment they enter their first year until they start working. Indeed, getting your students into the workplace is a key concern for them, as well as for you:

  • It's the next logical step after years of study and a degree 
  • It's an achievement for them and a sign of the quality of your education 
  • It's your school's mission: to turn your students into accomplished young professionals, ready to build the world of tomorrow

But in an increasingly difficult environment, where the health crisis is combined with job insecurity, how can you help your students boost their careers and give them the tools they need to enter the workplace with confidence? 

We will share some of our advice in this article to improve your student career support services.

📃 Improve your students' CVs

The curriculum vitae (CV) is the starting point for any job search. This invaluable document, which outlines their academic background, experience and acquired skills, will help your students get their first interview.

That's why it's important that you organise workshops to help your students improve their CVs. But what advice should you give them?

  • Adapt their CV to each application, so it precisely corresponds to the job offer 
  • Pay attention to readability: highlight essential information and prioritise content 
  • Focus on keywords related to the job description, so it better attract attention 
  • Personalise their CV: by adding their hobbies or a touch of humour, to make people want to meet the person behind the application 
  • Add a tagline to the header of the CV to make a difference and enhance content that is still basic for students just out of school (for example: a short description of the profile, interest in a particular field…)

You can also encourage them to create and update their LinkedIn profile. It's an excellent way for them to be spotted by recruiters, to build up a professional network (particularly by connecting with alumni) and to get to know their future company!

🎤 Train them for job interviews

If your students follow your advice, they should soon get a job interview. Once again, your institution can set up workshops to prepare them for this. 

Tips to give them:

  • Prepare a clear, concise presentation of their career path beforehand, so that they are in the best possible position from the very first minutes of the interview 
  • Be familiar with their CV and cover letter so they can anticipate the questions they might be asked 
  • Research about the company, its values, missions, purpose and recent news to show their interest in the job and avoid trick questions 
  • Anticipate the questions the recruiter might ask, such as : 
    • What does this company have that another one doesn't? 
    • What attracts you to this company? 
    • Why did you apply for this job? 
    • Why you and not someone else?
    • What are your skills for the job? 
  • Prepare questions to ask the recruiter, particularly about the team or the rest of the recruitment process 
  • Talk to people who have held similar positions and who have already been working for a few years, so that they can share their experience

With this preparation, your students will be well prepared for their first interviews!

🤝 Teach them how to negotiate

Excellent news, thanks to your invaluable advice, your students are succeeding in their job interviews! But now, they have to talk about their contract, their tasks and above all... their salary.

Once again, organise workshops on the topic to guide them through this :

  • Students need to anticipate this question and determine clearly what they are worth in terms of salary expectations (by benchmarking, talking to HR, etc.)
  • It is better to give a salary range rather than a precise figure. The bottom of the range will be their minimum acceptable for the job
  • Once they have given a figure, they must be able to justify it: knowledge of market salaries, skills required for the position, etc. 
  • Remaining open to dialogue is essential in this exercise, and entering into a power struggle is absolutely to be avoided 
  • Salary isn't everything, students can also negotiate other benefits: bonuses, reimbursement of travel and mileage expenses, etc.

Even if your students don't obtain a job directly after graduating, you will have done everything in your power to ensure that they are equipped to enter the workplace. 

The last things to remind your students:

  • They are entitled to turn down a job offer if they don't like it, despite the pressure of getting their first job 
  • Being turned down for a job is not a failure, but an opportunity to ask the recruiter why they were not selected
  • Don't get discouraged: continuing to apply while embarking on new projects or training courses is a good way to regain confidence

Want to learn more about our solutions to enhance the student experience? Talk to our team.