Career Services

Create a Sustainable Competitive Advantage With Innovative Career Services Platforms

Create a sustainable competitive advantage (2)In the frontier of creating competitive advantages, not much is left for career schools and colleges.

All major competitors are licensed.  All major competitors are accredited.  All major competitors are Title IV or WOIA eligible institutions or both.  All major competitors offer in-demand occupational training.  All major competitors teach résumé writing and interviewing skills.  All major competitors offer job placement assistance.  The entire industry has been commoditized!

So what’s left?

Where can a career school or college create superior value for their students and graduates and sustainable growth for their institution?  The answer is in designing a new career services paradigm and creating innovative, transformative learning programs and job development services that impact placement rates significantly.

In today’s market, one of the single biggest competitive advantages is a compelling student experience.  And one of the most compelling experiences is employment success!

A strong career services program is a career school’s greatest asset in creating superior value and recognized differentiation advantage.

  • It creates a compelling reason for prospective students to visit a school without the need to build extensive marketing messages and spend enormous sums on marketing and advertising.
  • It creates compelling reasons for students to stay in school increasing retention rates and profits.
  • It ensures consistently high employment success rates.
  • It creates a strong referral base, again minimizing marketing and advertising costs.
  • It makes point-of-sale messages far more compelling.
  • It’s the “proof of the pudding.”
  • It’s the reason career schools and colleges are in business!

Pro-Active Students + Continual Student Recruitment = High Employment Rates!

A school must accelerate both sides of the equation to create a sustainable competitive advantage, and be hovering near benchmark placement percentages will not provide that competitive edge.  In today’s marketplace, good is not good enough!


How to Market Your Career Center to Employers - Filling the Pipeline

Career Services SuccessWhether you perceive it this way or not, your career center is a service business with a major mission - generate recruitment for your graduates!

As with any other service business, filling your marketing pipeline with prospective recruiters will be an ongoing process for as long as your school exists.  If you’re already generating all the recruitment you need to satisfy the employment needs of your graduates - CONGRATULATIONS!  Move to the head of the class.

But if you are not generating enough recruitment, you may need to develop some additional success ingredients to fill your pipeline with more employers eager to interview your graduates.

Here are the essential ingredients for filling your pipeline with prospective recruiters of your graduates.

  • A complete written description of your career center services.  A solid description of services can be the basis of numerous other marketing tools, such as a website, marketing letter, or telephone script.
  • Market niche definition.  Your market niche definition identifies the people, businesses, goals and problems your career center is primarily designed to serve.
  • 10-second introduction is a concise summary of your career center services that your staff can use when they shake someone’s hand, stand up in front of a group, or call someone on the phone
  • Business cards specific to the career center.
  • Helping career center staff develop self-confidence skills.
  • A career center website separate from your school’s website.  A separate career center website can be a powerful tool for filling the pipeline, follow up or both.
  • Career center social media profile/page, again separate from your school’s main social media pages.  A career center social media profile or page can give your career center an interactive platform for direct contact and follow-up, networking and referral building, and other marketing strategies.

Remember, marketing in its simplest form is telling people what you do, over and over again.  So, go out and tell employers how great are your services to them...over and over!


Help your students build a solid foundation for a successful job search before they graduate!

Career School SuccessI’ve said this many time before, and I will say it many more times, a school simply cannot achieve high employment success in all their programs unless students are putting in as much effort into their job search as the school is in securing recruitment from potential employers!

So, what’s one way to get students to partner with you for mutual success?  Enable them to build a solid job search foundation well in advance of graduation.  Here’s a webinar I created that may help in this endeavor.

Please feel free to share this webinar entitled “How to Lay a Solid Job Search Foundation Before You Graduate” with any or all of your students you believe will benefit.  Your feedback will be most welcomed.

Best regards,

Lee


Do you employ a complete marketing and sales system to promote your career center services?

Do you employ...-Do you employ a complete marketing and sales system to promote your career center services?

Do you use all the tools you need to get your career center marketing efforts unstuck, make an effective action plan and start getting more employer clients for your graduates?

Does your career center use the latest marketing approaches used by professional service businesses, including social media marketing, Internet marketing, prospecting and networking online, and integrating your online and offline marketing tactics?

Are you building high-touch relationships with prospective employers of your graduates?

If you answered NO to any of these questions, then it’s time for a paradigm shift to get your career center operating at its full potential capability.  Your graduates will thank you, and so will the business markets you serve.


One way to increase your placement rates

Increase placement rates (1)You just cannot achieve high employment success in all your programs unless your students are putting in as much effort into their job search as you are in securing recruitment from potential employers!

The problem is most career schools, and colleges provide their students only with opportunities to learn how to write résumés, answer interview questions, and dress for success. These are individual skills useful at some stage of the process but are simply not enough to be successful in a 21st-century technology-driven job search.

A 21st-century job search requires self-directed job search and personal marketing skills that are rarely included in school curricula or taught at career and placement centers. So instead of designing an effective job search campaign, the typical graduate begins looking for work by exploring posting on Internet job boards or reading ads in the newspaper, or worse yet simply waits for calls from the career center office; a prescription for extended unemployment and marginal employment success rates.

Why?  Because they’ve never learned (or were taught) 10 essentials to get the job they want quickly.  Teach these essentials as part of your programs and your placements rates will rise!

  1. How to approach their job search as a well-planned asset-building personal marketing campaign, not a flex time mini-vacation.
  2. How to develop a clear idea what they want to do and what value they can bring to an organization.
  3. How to research industries and occupations that need their skills.
  4. How to target companies within those industries that need their skills and contact them directly.
  5. How to seek out and contact those people who have the authority to hire or supervise a person with their qualifications.
  6. How to network with people who love their jobs and their employers.
  7. How to write compelling credibility statements as cover letters.
  8. How to write accomplishment-based objective tailored résumés.
  9. How to follow up religiously.
  10. How to design a 25 to 44 hour a week job search effort.

How To Structure Effective Career Services, Part 3 of 3

Copy of Copy of Copy of DESIGN (1)In part one of the three-part series, I stated there are three distinct functions that need to be carried out to structure highly effective career services; one crosses over into education.

  • Transformative learning
  • Coaching
  • “Selling” fee-free recruitment services

Part One focused on transformative learning, which you can review here.  Part Two focused on a seminar and coaching program which you can review here.  This post, Part Three, focuses on designing student recruitment initiatives on a professional services business model.

One of the earmarks of a successful career services program is the ability of the institution to generate continual recruitment of graduates by employers and staffing agencies.  Designing student recruitment initiatives on a professional services business model will cause an organization to reach their full potential in generating student recruitment.  To be successful, institutions must create and develop a complete marketing and sales system for their career center staff.  In addition to developing a complete marketing and sales system, the person or people engaged in consulting with employers to identify employment needs need to be well-trained placement specialists and consultative sales professionals.

The magic formula for marketing fee-free recruitment of qualified graduates is choosing a set of simple, effective things to do, and doing them consistently.  That means creating a system that will enable a school to do just that.

Initially, and to be effective, the career center must choose specific strategies for direct contact and follow-up with employers, and networking and referral building.  The career center will also have to choose a series of “success ingredients” to support the strategies.  These may include:

  • Developing a separate website (different from the school website), that tells employers what you do and why they should use your services.  The site could be made more robust by offering free resources, capturing visitor contact information and including pages of profiles of graduates available for employment.
  • Social media profile and pages for the career center.
  • Live networking venues where career center staff can go in person to meet prospective employers and referral partners.
  • Online networking venues.
  • Speaking venues
  • Advertising venues, and so on.

Regardless of what success ingredients are chosen, every career center needs a foolproof marketing and sales plan that continually generates new employment opportunities for its graduates.

Wrap up

Defined in roles,  a successful career services thrust includes at least an educator skilled in the transformative learning process, a skilled seminar leader and coach, and a placement specialist with sales skills.

I hope this series created value of those who read the three posts, and your feedback will be most appreciated.

If you wish to subscribe to my blog posts and get them directly by email, go to www.GamelinAssociates.com and complete the sign-up form.  In this era, creating sustainable growth may require schools to make a fundamental change in approach AND their underlying assumptions.  This blog is a forum for those who wish to learn how to make those changes and add to the discussions.


How To Structure Effective Career Services, Part 2 of 3

Copy of Copy of DESIGN (5)In part one of the three-part series, I stated there are three distinct functions that need to be carried out to structure highly effective career services; one crosses over into education.

  1. Transformative learning
  2. Coaching
  3. “Selling” fee-free recruitment services

Part one focused on transformative learning, which you can review here.  This posting, Part Two, focuses on coaching; actually a seminar and group coaching program.

Assuming your students have completed a comprehensive job search effectiveness course as part of the curriculum during their tenure at your school, the next phase is conducting a one-month, postgraduate (yes, postgraduate) seminar and group coaching program.

Many job-seekers remain unsuccessful because they can't figure out what to do. Others move forward in a start-and-stop mode, trying first one idea, then another, and often giving up before they see results regardless of what they were taught in the job search or career decision course.

The seminar and group coaching program I have used successfully is based on the Get Hired NOW!™ program developed originally by C.J. Hayden, MCC, and Frank Traditi.  Get Hired NOW! was designed to meet the need for an easy-to-use program that would simplify the job search process, and help job seekers get into action quickly.

This model works because it gives each participant a list of things to do, a calendar for getting them done, and a method of tracking their progress. With a career services professional as their group leader and coach for the one-month program, they also have the accountability, perspective, and support they need to keep going, work smart, and stay on track.

This seminar and group coaching program can be offered in a variety of ways. It begins with an in-class workshop of two and one-half to three hours in length. The program can also be delivered as a teleclass or webinar.  Although, I’ve found the in-class model to be most effective.  In the seminar, the facilitator reviews the basic principles of job search and helps participants see where they may be stuck or lost in their job search. Then the facilitator takes the participants through the step-by-step process of developing a personalized one-month job search program, using the programming toolkit. Each member's program includes a quantifiable job search goal they wish to achieve in the next month, one to three projects they would like to accomplish, and ten specific actions they will take on a daily or weekly basis.

Following the seminar, the facilitator conducts group coaching sessions. From my experience, two 30 to 45-minute sessions per week for four weeks works best. Limit the coaching sessions to no more than ten participants working together with the facilitator in each session.

In the sessions, participants report their progress on implementing the program and achieving their goals. They receive coaching on blocks or obstacles, brainstorm with the facilitator and other participants for possible solutions, and celebrate their wins. At the end of each coaching session, the facilitator gives a job search thought for the day.

In the coaching session, each participant reports not only how well they did in achieving their goals, but what they have learned about themselves and the job search process. Even those who do not reach their targets get significant value from the program, because of the amount of learning that takes place.

Watch for my next post for Part Three, “Selling” fee-free recruitment services, next week.

If you wish to subscribe to my blog posts and get them directly by email, go to www.GamelinAssociates.com and complete the sign-up form.  In this era, creating sustainable growth may require schools to make a fundamental change in approach AND their underlying assumptions.  This blog is a forum for those who wish to learn how to make those changes and add to the discussions.


How to Structure Effective Career Services - Part 1

Copy of Copy of DESIGN (4)There are three distinct functions that need to be carried out to structure highly effective career services; one crosses over into education.

  1. Transformative learning
  2. Coaching
  3. “Selling” fee-free recruitment services

Let’s begin with a transformative learning program; transformative in this case meaning changing habits of mind and points of view.

You just cannot achieve high employment success in all your programs unless your students are putting in as much effort into their job search as you are in securing job orders from potential employers!  The problem is most career schools, and colleges provide their students only with opportunities to learn how to write résumés, answer interview questions, and dress for success.  These are individual skills useful at some stage of the process but are simply not enough to be successful in a 21st-century technology-driven job search.

A 21st-century job search requires self-directed job search and personal marketing skills that are rarely included in school curricula or taught at career and placement centers. So instead of designing an effective job search campaign, the typical graduate begins looking for work by exploring postings on Internet job boards or reading ads in the newspaper, or worse yet simply waits for calls from the career center office; a prescription for extended unemployment and marginal employment success rates.

Students must learn what most have never learned - how to market themselves successfully.  And this requires a transformative approach on day one, not a month before the student graduates.

Students need to learn the three key components of a successful job search:

  1. Identifying the best job search strategies for their personal goals.
  2. Knowing exactly what to do and when to do it.
  3. Staying motivated in the face of frustration and rejection.

These skills need to be learned and EXPERIENCED throughout their entire tenure as students for them to develop a level of confidence few have experienced in their lives.

Watch for my next post for Part Two, Coaching, next Tuesday, July 26.

If you wish to subscribe to my blog posts and get them directly by email, go to www.GamelinAssociates.com and complete the sign-up form.  In this era, creating sustainable growth may require schools to make a fundamental change in approach AND their underlying assumptions.  This blog is a forum for those who wish to learn how to make those changes and add to the discussions.