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Build Your Career Center Brand By Going Back to Basics

Build Your Career Center Brand By Going Back to Basics

EACE Blog contribution by Claire Klieger, Sr. Associate Director, Career Services at University of Pennsylvania

In this day and age, much of the attention about how to reach students is focused on social media. While this high tech approach is certainly important, there is still a valuable place for more low-tech marketing techniques.  In particular, our office has had a lot of success with lawn signs as a way to highlight specific resources or statistics, especially if you are interested in combating myths or misconceptions among your student body.

sign_2012Grads_FINAL Develop a consistent “look” for your signs.

We developed a logo and slogan for our lawn sign campaign, “Find Your Direction.”  With this campaign umbrella, even though the content of each of our signs was different, it was obvious to students that it was part of a larger theme and that everything was tied to Career Services. In combination, these signs can help build your career center’s brand and combat student anxiety about the job or internship search.

Show, Don’t Tell.

sign_DontWorry_FINALNow that most offices gather information on student outcomes, this can be a great way to utilize the data in a positive way to help tell a story or make a point. They might help students have more realistic expectations about the timetable for receiving job or internship offers or illuminate popular industries or how people found their positions. Similarly, you can use your signs to showcase specific resources in your office or on your website, thus using low tech to bring more awareness to high tech resources. For instance, you could have a sign that promotes your alumni network or campus job board.

Consider timing for maximum impact

sign_iNet_FINALCheck with your campus facilities department to find out if there are restrictions on where or for how long you can put out signs. At Penn, it’s a limit of three weeks per semester so we opted to split this up into three different weeks at strategic points during the semester (beginning of semester and after breaks when students might be feeling most pressured by parents and other family members).

Take the pulse to measure effectiveness

sign_LinkedIn_FINALIn conjunction with our campaign, we also did a survey of student awareness of our resources as well as what we thought were common misconceptions on campus about the internship search. We did this before the start of our campaign and then again in the spring after our campaign was over. The results showed that students not only noticed the signs but also that their knowledge and awareness of our resources was affected by them.

So, get back to basics and think about ways you can use your high tech data to reach students in traditional ways!

Claire Klieger

Claire Klieger

Dr. Claire Klieger is a Senior Associate Director of Career Services at the University of Pennsylvania where she advises undergraduate students in arts and sciences. She is particularly interested in helping liberal arts students identify and market their transferable skills as well as making students at Penn aware of the diverse array of offerings and resources that Career Services has to offer. In this regard, Claire has presented at EACE and other conferences on using technology to more effectively connect with students and changing student perceptions of Career Centers.  Claire has a bachelor’s degree in English and Anthropology from the University of Virginia (go Hoos!) and earned her doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. She spent her formative years living abroad in the Middle East and North Africa and still loves to travel when she can.

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