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Consistency is Key

Consistency is Key

EACE Blog contribution by Wenylla Reid, Associate Director for Employer Development, University Career Services at Rutgers University 

consistency-keyAfter nearly 10 years working Career Services I’ve met quite a few employers over the years. Many have similar concerns the greatest of which is shared with the question, “How do we connect with your best students?”. Some will contact my office and explain that they need three candidates within a few weeks. I had one employer contact me in disgust inquiring as to why students didn’t apply to her positing. She went on to say how horrible the economy was at the time and that she thought students would be clamoring to her opportunity. I had to inform her that my students had no idea who she was and that her positing alone was not sufficient to pique their interest.

While I always want to assist my employer partners I’ve come to learn that many of our recruiters are simply unaware that a central component of on-campus recruiting is consistency.   Students respond to familiar brands so household names definitely have an advantage, but even more important than name recognition students react to a consistent on-campus presence. Whether are among the fortune 500 or a little know company this generation of students thrives on building relationships and they appreciate companies who have a tracked record of investing resources into their campus.

Career services offices are not temp agencies and as a result are usually are unable to “fill” open position in a couple of weeks. Career counselors do not have an army of students at their fingertips waiting to for the next available position that any company may present. It is up to each employer to create solid relationships with their schools of choice. Campus recruiting is most effect when companies commit to their target schools and engage their campus constituents in a variety of ways.

Here are a few key tips to developing and maintaining a consistent brand presence:

  1. Be sure to announce to the central point of contact in university career services any staffing changes involving key members of your recruiting team. Oftentimes recruiters or college relations specialists move on and career services staff have not been informed that new hires have joined the team.
  2. Participate in career fairs and other key campus events. While you may not have an opportunity to meet with students for extended periods of time you are demonstrating to the student body that you are present on campus and interested.
  3. Connect with the student organizations while keeping career services professionals in the loop. It’s great to connect directly with your target audience however when career services is not aware of your activities on campus it is impossible for staff members to respond knowledgeably about your campus presence.
  4. Be sure to connect with appropriate points of contact within career services with regards to your strategies for the upcoming academic year.   This is a great way to inform your campus contact that you will be back and that you are interested. You will also be able to review the past year’s activities and make an assessment as to what worked and what didn’t.
  5. Plan your campus strategy. Try your best to avoid playing it by ear and take a look at your calendar and the offerings of your core schools. Meet with the designated career services professional (s) and make a determination based on target audience and desired outcome as to where you will invest your resources.
  6. Rinse Repeat.

I am confident if you incorporate these steps into your overall strategy top talent will find their way to your company.

reid-wenyllaWenylla Reid currently serves as the Associate Director for Employer Development with University Career Services at Rutgers, the State University of NJ. In this role she has an integral part in the development and maintenance of employer outreach operations.   Prior to joining University Career services she established the Office of Career Management for Rutgers Business School Undergraduate New Brunswick (RBS).   During her tenure with RBS she grew the department from one full time hire to include four full-time associates. She also developed and oversaw exclusive programs and a range of career management services for over 2,000 students enrolled in six majors.

In addition she managed the Women’s Business Leadership Initiative (WBLI); a program designed to provide RBS female students with structured opportunities to examine the impact of gender on leadership while encouraging each participant to refine and develop their unique leadership style. She also established the first official Rutgers Business School Mentor Program on the Newark and New Brunswick campuses. Prior to her work at the business school Ms. Reid spent time working in university relations and college recruiting and youth development.

Wenylla received her Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University’s Douglass College and an MS from Polytechnic University. She has also volunteered as a mentor for the National Association for Colleges and Employers, an extern host for Douglass College’s Externship Program and workshop facilitator for INROADS.

She is very passionate about career management for college students and she shares her insights on her blog called Build Brand You ( which emphasizes strategic brand development for college students, plus great tips for everyone else.

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