I have had extensive dealings with all types of career services professionals and have, unfortunately for the students of the universities, discovered that about only 1 out of 20 actually understand their job and are effective at it. To be an asset to the students, there are things that career services professionals need to understand:
The Students Are Clients of Theirs – They Are Clients That Pay A Lot of Money
The cost of a college education, before loan interest can run up to nearly $250,000. This money is spent to ensure that sons and daughters of hard working people get educated and, thus can contribute to society in a meaningful way. To do this, the students need to begin by obtaining a career that is right for them and is conducive to them being successful. Seemingly, a lot of career professionals like to work 9 – 5 hours. Why not? In academics it’s hard to get fired. It seems as if a lot of career services professionals expect some sort of accolade for a 6 o’clocker.
If a school has roughly 10,000 students and, on average each student is paying $50,000 (this number factors in full tuition students, scholarship and mixed) that career services professional is carrying a client revenue stream of $50,000,000. However, most career service professionals shrug off the fact that companies 30% of this size have 24hr. support. The career services employees work for the students and exist to obtain one goal and one goal only – making the career goals of their clients a reality.
This means even if the career services professional has to claw through the dirt to get it done. Why are they different from the business world? What gives them exemption from execution?
The Professors Are Clients of Theirs
Professors spend years preparing to be able to educate young minds by obtaining MBAs and PhDs and, thus inspire the students to go out into the world, make an impact and do their best to live ethical, productive lives. Therefore, in this scenario, the professors are the sales representatives that go out and find the “leads” only to have a 9 – 5 career services not close the account. Career services professionals need to be very proactive and very appreciative of every single professor within that university because that is where their “leads” come from. No closer likes subpar leads. No lead generator can work with a subpar closer. In any company, regardless of industry, subpar closers see only one thing: the door.
Unfortunately, this mentality and understanding only exists in 5% of today’s university career centers. Moreover, to better service their clients (students and professors), the career services representatives need to go to each class, introduce themselves as the “account manager” who has personally been designated to work with the clients (students) throughout the account cycle that is 4 or 5 years in this case.
For any good account manager who was carrying a quota of $50,000,000 going to a class and, subsequently servicing the two forms of clients they have at a single time is a no brainer. Companies spend millions of dollars per year in R & D attempting to figure out how to be this effective. Have most career services personnel? Nope.
Budgets Are Budgets – They Must Make Due with the Money Given Being underfunded is not an excuse. Companies are under funded all of the time, however they make due and, upon doing a stellar job for their clients (the students in this case) their corporate division can make a strong argument as to why more revenue needs to be diverted to their team because their success and client execution needs more resources. They don’t understand it’s not the other way around. Produce, then complain.
They Have Competitors
If you were to ask 95% of career service professionals who their competition was, they would immediately refer to their football rival three states away. Their competition are the schools that are close by and that have students that go up against their students for jobs. This is their competition; it’s not another college due to the fact that they can dunk a basketball.
Career services professionals need to stop spending so much time living off a win in a sport done by actual athletes that have no affiliation with them, but the name on a jersey. Instead, they should analyze how the athletes accomplish what they do and bring that model into the career center.
It’s just known that career services professionals don’t do competitive analysis. They don’t follow up with companies that interview their competition to see how their students stacked up against the other schools. This should be done on a daily basis. Then, once this knowledge is obtained, the career services professionals need to use this information to better serve their clients.
Also, many career services professionals have not, in their professional career, done any competitive analysis on their competition’s career websites. Thus, they can’t serve their clients are best as possible because they don’t know how the other teams write resumes, answer certain interview questions, approach the job hunt or just about any other aspect that could be deciphered with a 2 minute analysis.
They Are In Sales and Need to Make Outbound Calls
Unless a school is an Ivy-League institution, career center employees have to understand that the recruiting process is a 50 / 50. This entails making outbound calls to companies that are currently hiring or that are very reputable and are currently not looking at their students.
Most career service professionals never make outbound calls and, subsequently don’t service their $50,000,000 worth of clientele to the fullest extent possible. Businesses, to sustain this revenue, fight tooth and nail to keep their clients satisfied. To a business, to ensure client satisfaction, getting their hands dirty with a few cold-calls and, subsequently starting a sales cycle to better the experience of their client is something they are more than willing to do. Actually, in most cases, they enjoy the challenge. This is not something that be done by someone who ducks out of the office at 5:30 because their TiVo is getting full.
It Is Their Fault If Students Don’t Come to the Career Center
Students are not just magically going to appear in the career services center and a lot of career services professionals use this as an excuse. There are no excuses when carrying a $50,000,000 quota. You execute; you don’t leave at 5, you don’t get complacent with 20 people showing up for your resume speech, you go out and hunt.
Most career center professionals do a lackluster job of getting the students in their office. In this case, their clients (the professors) need them to do so. They have to close the deal, but don’t want to come to terms with the fact that “sales” which is a bad word to most career services professionals is part of their job description. However, with most career centers, excuses are tossed around like pre-made pizza pies regarding this aspect of their job.
Also, many don’t even think of the fact that there are psychology professors steps away who exist and could better help them understand as to why they are not getting the students in their office. Career service professionals, the majority of them, have access to hundreds of free consultants. How many companies can say this? How many career services professionals can say that they use their consultants?
The Career Website Should Contain No Less Than 100 Articles – Most Original
There are CEOs who run million dollar corporations and who, maybe don’t type themselves, but write books. Presidents who run nations still find the time to write memoires. I manage 14 people and still write for marketing purposes. Most career service professionals, after 5 p.m. have no loyalty to the needs of their clients. It’s as if they are a call center employee who jumps out of their seat the minute the clock ticks and their shift ends.
They don’t act like an executive carrying this kind of quota. Their clients need resume help. How many resumes (actual samples) for each kind of graduate does the career services professionals have linked?
They Don’t Understand Basic Management Skills
Instead of forming a team, it seems that most career services professionals like to be hung up on the fact that they have an “assistant.” Instead of basic management 101 skills, these individuals like to make it known that they think of their assistant as only an assistant. When was the last time this “assistant” was given the autonomy to help carry out the aforementioned activities for the large account?