Top 10 Takeaways from Connections 2019


Connections 2019 was a record-setting event and included the most diverse group of attendees in its 14-year history!

Career center and employer partners from around the country came to Columbus, Ohio to discuss their challenges and share best practice solutions. Attendees hailed from 4-year universities, 2-year community colleges, experiential learning programs, graduate business schools, professional associations and employers. The conversations were more lively and thought-provoking than ever before.  

Here are the top 10 takeaways from our 14th annual Connections conference:

  1. Despite rumors, email remains the top channel for employers and career centers to engage students. But 50% of email is now read on mobile devices, so keep your emails short, organized and skimmable (SOS) to drive action.
  2. Text messaging is being used more frequently for quick reminders and 1-to-1 communications with students like advising appointment reminders, event notifications, hot job alerts, quick follow-ups and simple questions.
  3. If presenting on campus either in a career center workshop or at a recruiting event, minimize the amount of copy on screen and use more slides. More slides doesn’t necessarily mean the presentation must be longer. Just spend 8-15 seconds per slide because that’s your audience’s attention span.
  4. If you want to really reach students, tell more stories. Recruitment teams should let current employees tell potential hires about a day-in-the-life-of that role at your company. Career centers should encourage companies to come on campus for info sessions or bring higher-ups to coffee chats to share their backgrounds and vision.  
  5. Job postings, employment branding videos and career development events on campus can be engaging, fun, and informal! Even your legal team will admit there’s no rule that says you must be boring.
  6. Recruiters and career center representatives’ online presence along with students’ job-seeker profiles should be personable (less resume-like) by adding a compelling first-person summary. Remember, you wouldn’t introduce yourself in person by saying “Ryan is a leader,” you’d say “I’m a leader.”
  7. 74% of today's students are considered non-traditional and more and more programs are spread out among multiple campuses (or online). Connecting with these students can be challenging, but go out of your way to reach them — they’re typically more satisfied and engaged with the experience than traditional students on campus.
  8. The most successful internship programs and experiential learning opportunities keep students busy with meaningful projects where they can directly see the results of their work.
  9. With the right data and historical benchmarks, career centers can predict employment outcomes based activities performed (or not performed) by students and employers can predict success in the workplace.
  10. Technology should always make your life easier so that you can spend more time doing what you love about your job. For both recruiters and career development representatives, this means less busy-work and more time interacting face-to-face with students.

GradLeaders can help! If you missed the event, want more information, or would like to chat about our campus recruitment or career services solutions, contact us today!



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