COVID-19 has been disrupting the programs and initiatives of higher education institutions everywhere. There are some institutions that are struggling to virtualize while others have shut down programs completely. Some institutions, however, are trying to avoid disruption by better engaging with students and their employability journey through a virtual platform. Illinois State University (ISU) is one of those institutions that has provided students with a virtual option when it comes to the delivery of career services.
One way that ISU has been virtualizing career services by providing career and resume advice through Hire-A-Redbird. Hire-A-Redbird is ISU’s interactive job vacancy tool for students, alumni, and employers. Since ISU’s campus has closed, virtual appointments have become a very practical way for students to continue to make progress in their career development. According to career advisor, Renee Carrigan, “I have been meeting with students via Zoom and email to review their resumes. Some have found getting a solid draft together to be a good use of the extra time they have.” Using Hire-A-Redbird, students have the ability to select their preferred appointment method: email, phone, or virtual call (Zoom). Once the request is received, the career advisor will send an email confirmation to the student regarding their appointment request and will indicate if it has been accepted. The whole process is managed through Hire-A-Redbird without any student needing to step on campus.
Another way that ISU has been virtualizing career services is by providing students with virtual drop-in hours. Students can receive career assistance during drop-in hours from ISU’s career center graduate assistants and career advisors. Students can request a brief resume review, get input on their LinkedIn profile and how to use the tool for job searching or networking. There are two ways to utilize virtual drop-in hours; virtual drop-in hours can be accessed through Zoom by clicking on the link provided on the drop-in hours webpage on the career center website and wait for the host to connect with you or through email by sending an email with the request to the career center. It’s perfect for students that want have their resumes reviewed before applying to jobs.
For students that are ready to identify and apply for jobs and internships while they’re on-the-go, ISU’s Career Center also offers free access to Symplicity’s Jobs and Careers mobile app. Using the app, students can receive personalized job and internship recommendations, schedule interviews, and have their resumes reviewed. The app is available from the App Store or Google Play. “Symplicity CSM makes it easy for students to find jobs that are the most relevant and interesting to them. As employers continue their recruiting efforts, students especially enjoy having mobile access to stay updated with new job postings and opportunities,” said Val Ilyukhina, Business Analyst at ISU, “The mobile app has been helpful in boosting student engagement with employers.” With job postings available at their fingertips, students have full visibility into all of their the employability opportunities.
A wide variety of platforms can be used by ISU students or alumni, making it easy for ISU to deliver excellent career services virtually. While no one can be sure how long COVID-19 will keep ISU’s campus closed for, Career Center staff can continue to support their student initiatives remotely. For more information about virtualizing student services, email firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a conversation.