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  • Career Development for Graduating Business Students

    January 22, 2018 | By NACE Staff

    Best Practices
    A business student in a college classroom.

    TAGS: best practices, operations, nace insights, career development

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

    What in-class activities and workshops will help graduating business students during their last semester of school? Students typically have learned the basics of writing resumes, using LinkedIn, and developing personal websites, so what can career services professionals do to give these students a last-semester push? NACE Community members have been sharing their ideas.

    One career services director encourages her soon-to-be graduates to perfect their 15-second personal (elevator) pitch. She splits her group into halves, creating two lines of students facing one another. First, one line gives their pitch to their partners; then the other line offers feedback. Then, the two groups switch roles. Next, the one line moves down so that everyone has a new partner and the exercise is repeated. She recommends repeating the exercise as often as possible, giving students ample time to practice and receive valuable feedback.

    At another school, the elevator pitch is now a contest to prepare students for an upcoming career expo. Students video their pitch and send it to the career center for judging. The winner is awarded a gift card for professional attire.

    A senior-level advanced resume writing workshop at another university helps these students transform their resumes from basic task-oriented resumes to skills-and-accomplishments-based resumes. Students learn how to showcase their skills depending on the jobs for which they are applying by using actual job postings that demonstrate where to find the required skills and how to match those on their resumes.

    LinkedIn is vital for new grads and alumni who can get LinkedIn critiques by e-mail on request. One university’s college of business offers a review of LinkedIn profiles and tips to perfect them.

    A panel of three or four recruiters sharing best practices brings real-world experiences into the graduation conversation for seniors. Alumni often fill in to discuss resumes and networking at one university.

    At another school, a guest lecturer talks to juniors and seniors about “after the offer,” giving advice on how to break down the offer, how to compare offers, and which benefits are most valuable—a suggestion that brought a lot of requests for sharing from other career services professionals.

    A salary negotiation workshop brings seniors value at one school. And at another, the career services director has found that business students often struggle with what they can do with their degree. Her strategy is to help them explore various industries to discover what each student finds most interesting. She then helps students figure out how they might use their degrees in those industries, and with the help of peer advisers, they put together definite directional plans.

    Join the conversation and share your programs for graduating business students in the NACE Community.

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