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The employment field is changing, the economy is shifting and innovation has never moved so quickly. Although changing times like these can be exciting, they can also bring uncertainty, especially for students. With more and more graduates in search of a job, career services within universities are up for the challenging task to re-design their services for the better.

Education has improved drastically over the years, but in light of high education fees and only little available jobs, graduates feel pressure to find a job as quickly as possible. Traditional support has proven to be insufficient, considering the uncertain economic situation and constant innovations in technology. Many universities have embraced this time of change and have come up with new ways to adapt their career services to the fast phased developments. Get inspired by these counselling trends and see how universities have found innovative career counselling solutions.

5 key points for career services

1.Fight collectively: Career services should be everybody’s business. An ecosystem should be fostered where universities, alumni, faculties, employees, families and communities work together to provide the most effective atmosphere for students to proceed to their profession successfully.

2.Personalise: With the technological boom people have gotten used to a personalised approach, where content is adapted to each personal situation. Bentley University has shown that information and data can be used to create a personal career service for every student. Every student is provided with a four-year plan to help them find a suitable job. Data such as grades or survey answers can support career counsellors to customise their advice accordingly.

3.Reach out: Many students are not aware of the importance of career service during their education and hit a wall after graduation. Reaching out early can therefore raise awareness of the importance of career services and can tackle issues in time. The University of Miami has opened an approachable career centre aiming to open the doors to employers, students, alumni and donors. By offering a place to meet and share ideas, participation is enhanced.

4.Technology: The many resources available online can be of great benefit for students in the process of looking for a job. Not only are professional social media such as LinkedIn key factors, other technological benefits should be embraced. E-Credentials, an online programme designed by PennState University, helps graduates to guide their application process by creating a collective space to store and send all information needed for employment.

5.Listen: Although this might seem obvious, career services should be all about listening. Do not just talk to students but involve the professional field too. Both traditional companies and new startups are important stakeholders in the ecosystem of student employment and conversations should therefore be key. The University of Leicester has recently been recognised as one of the leading universities in career services. By constantly communicating with professionals and students, the university has created effective curricula and extra-curricular programs with content requested by future employees.

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