Generation Z, those born between 1997 and 2012, are now entering the workforce and making their mark on the world. As the first digitally native generation, Gen Z students have grown up with technology at their fingertips and expect a certain level of technological savvy and personalization from the organizations they interact with. This presents a unique challenge for career services, who must find ways to engage with Gen Z students and provide the support they need to succeed in their careers. To better engage with the students of today, here are four tips for career services processionals!
Offer Personalized Career Support
Gen Z students value personalized support that is tailored to their individual needs and interests. Career services can provide this by using the data they have on students' engagement with their office from the number of logins to their career page, number of resumes submitted, career fairs attended, and more to identify students who may need extra support. Identifying students who may need extra support is crucial in offering personalized career guidance to Gen Z students. By proactively reaching out to these students, career services can help them identify their strengths, interests, and career goals, and assist them in developing their resumes, job applications, or cover letters. If you're looking for some ideas, our Symplicity partners at Purdue University, Illinois State University, and the Colorado School of Mines discussed the importance of this and strategies on a recent webinar.
Use Gamification to Engage Students
Gamification is the process of incorporating game-like elements into non-game contexts to increase engagement and motivation. Career services can use gamification to make career development more fun and engaging for Gen Z students. This might include creating online quizzes, challenges, or simulations that allow students to practice skills and learn more about different career paths.
With Symplicity CSM, offices can set up structured career plans designed to support general career planning by automating workflows, reducing manual work, and easily measuring success. Within each Pathway there are steps and activities that can be tied to standard CSM functionalities, such as events, advising appointments, or even ones that take place outside the system i.e. watching a YouTube video. With Pathways, career services offices can easily take care of students’ prerequisites often required before attending a networking event such as attending a workshop, getting a resume reviewed, or meeting with a career advisor, etc.
Provide Online Career Resources
The world is becoming increasingly digital, and Gen Z students are no exception. They are used to having information at their fingertips and accessing it whenever they want. Therefore, career services must offer a variety of online resources to support Gen Z students as they navigate their careers. These resources could take the form of webinars, e-books, podcasts, and other digital content that can be accessed on demand.
For instance, webinars can be used to provide students with expert advice on a range of career-related topics, such as networking, job search strategies, and interview techniques. E-books can be created to provide in-depth information on specific industries or professions. Podcasts can be used to share success stories of people who have navigated similar career paths as students.
By providing online resources, career services can meet the needs of students who may have busy schedules or who prefer to learn independently. Additionally, these resources can be accessed from anywhere at any time, making them convenient for students who may not be able to physically visit the career services office.
Support Student Outcomes with Data & Analytics
Data analytics is a powerful tool that can help career services professionals gain a better understanding of their Gen Z student population. By analyzing student engagement data, career services can identify areas where they can improve their services and provide more targeted support to individual students.
Data analytics can demonstrate the value of career services to stakeholders, while providing insight into the makeup of their students and what they need. By presenting data on student outcomes and engagement, career services can show how their services are contributing to the success of their students. This information can be used to secure funding for future initiatives and to build stronger partnerships with employers and other stakeholders. Data is a valuable tool that can help career services professionals better understand and support Gen Z students as they navigate their careers. By using data to inform their strategies and decisions, career services can provide more effective and personalized support to their students, and help them achieve their career goals.
Overall, career services have always had to adapt to a new generation, and that is not different than understanding the changing needs of Gen Z students to help them succeed in their careers. By doing so, career services can provide personalized and streamlined support that meets the unique needs and expectations of this digitally native generation.
Streamlining your systems to not only meet institutional standards, but also employer standards, Symplicity CSM has been a trusted collaborator for career services professionals for over 20 years. To learn more about CSM Pathways and more can help your institution, watch our video below or schedule a conversation.