Career offices not doing enough to help students look for jobs

Only 17% of students claim that their careers officers were helpful in their search for a graduate job, according to a survey by Kloodle.

Three in ten revealed that they had never received any contact with their careers departments and just 49% would welcome them being more visible at university.

The survey also highlights the lack of innovation behind this clear disconnect with 51% of students insisting that they would welcome their careers service being more innovative when it came to job search advice.

Phil Hayes, founder and CEO of Kloodle, believes that although more should be done by career offices to assist students in their search for a job, “the departments need greater prominence within the university.”

“Careers departments we have spoken to have fantastic people working for them, all of whom deeply care about the employability of their students,” he insisted.

“They are, however, forced to be reactive as their reach is stifled within the university. Students are worth £9,000 a year to universities, and often marketing activities to get new students through the door takes precedence over the destination of students once they leave,” Hayes continued.

Hayes also believes that the lack of help from the career offices could potentially hinder the respective industries that various students dream of getting into.

“The ability to proactively engage students will undoubtedly hinder progress in many areas. Students enter university with a very narrow perception of the career opportunities they have available to them,” Hayes stated.

“Hindering the reach of employability departments leads to a lack of knowledge transfer. Students' perceptions stay narrow, and when it comes to applying for jobs, they stay within these predefined occupation pathways,” he concluded.

Image courtesy of door

Comments (8)
Wed, 27 May 2015 2:48pm BST
Rusty Anderson
The title of this article is interesting as it infers a lack of effort by career centers to assist students. Perhaps the focus should be more on the hundreds of class presentations conducted, career fairs offered, topical workshops presented, resumes referrals to employers, on-campus interview schedules coordinated, and employer campus visits hosted and why most of these activities are poorly attended and receive little participation from students despite the countless number of emails, snail mail, posters, and ads placed to their attention.
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Tue, 26 May 2015 10:01pm BST
Victoria Krayna@ Vaentino Martinez
My students/graduates receive the following email/Facebook message from me twice per week, in addition to hand-delivering their resumes, introductory & follow up phone, email, and Social networking:

Please open up the attached Job Search Log each week and save the document as Last Name, First Name _________ Technician Job Search Log. Enter your name at the top of the Log. Highlight in Red, the geographical areas you are willing and able to work at.

FYI: An addiction to your comfort zone and/or zip code will NOT move you forward in your career.

I have included Job Leads from as far South as Manteca and as far North as Sacramento. I have also included Job Leads as far East as Angels Camp and Sonora. I have researched opportunities in Modesto, Tracy, Livermore, and the East Bay as well.

1. Review the Job Search Log and identify the positions you would like to apply to.
2. Apply to each position and note the date you applied on the Job Search Log.
3. Note: N/A on the positions you have chosen not to apply to.
4. Research positions on the Internet Job Search Boards [,,, etc. and add those position to your Job Search Log
5. Research Employer Websites [Costco, CVS Caremark, Dignity Health, Lodi Memorial, Kaiser Permanente, Omnicare, Pharmerica, etc.] and add the positions you have identified to your Job Search Log.
6. Apply to the positions you have identified.
7. Follow up each application/resume submittal with a phone call, email, and/or a face-to-face introduction.
8. Update your Job Search Log and email it to me each Tuesday and Thursday. I compile employer packets with active job seeker resumes and hand-deliver them three times per week.

Reach out to your instructors, classmates, and graduates; create a Job Search Club.

Encourage one another … share ‘war stories’, best practices, victories, and kudos to those who have helped you along the way… Connect on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Note: I receive 0-1 Job Search logs per week
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Mon, 1 Dec 2014 11:38am GMT
Phill Hayes@ Valentino Martinez
I agree Valentino. Selling your organisation to prospective employees is the same as selling any product or service your organisation produces. It should be a proactive and continuous activity. As an employer, you should be looking to build a relationship with any potential candidate from the earliest opportunity. That might mean in first year when you can outline the activities a student should be undertaking throughout their degree in order to best equip themselves for employment.

Employers who appear to be helpful and genuinely want to build relationships will come out as winners. Social media channels enable employers to set up this regular engagement fairly easily - if they get the strategy correct.

Careers advisors are facilitators to the connection of employers to students and vice versa, but, as you rightly point out, they are only as effective as the effort an employer or student are prepared to put in to work with them.
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Sat, 29 Nov 2014 3:42pm GMT
Valentino Martinez@ Phill Hayes
@Phil – I agree. My experience working with career counselors and administrators on campus have been positive and mutually benefiting. They have the best position to liaison with students who show the initiative to visit and ask for help. But, as I said before – the student has to own the effort of positioning themselves to be noticed and be pursued by employers.

Employers, by the way, need to be proactive and supportive as well of the college career services and job placement office staff. It helps no one if an employer rep complains about not finding good prospects on campus. It is a lazy employer rep, in my view, who complains about not finding viable candidates on campus.

I’ll always respond, when I hear such a complaint, by asking – Well, what proactive things did you do to improve your chances of getting ideal candidates? The reaction is always, “What do you mean? We paid the fee to attend the job fair. We signed up for interviews on campus. We expected better than this.” To which I’ll respond, “If you didn’t strategically post your employment needs on campus, long in advance of your arrival – what did you expect?

Unless you are a Fortune 100 company who needs no introduction – you need to sell yourself to potential student candidates. The best students can be picky and they will be lacking the option to choose to visit with you if they are unaware of your upcoming participation in a company night for pitching your opportunities.” Coming to a job fair or to interviews on campus should be preceeded by recruitment advertisements in the campus newspaper; posting of flyers with key student organizations; flyers strategically placed in traffic areas on and off campus.

The point is – be creative in pursuing talent on campus. Use past student hires who are now company employees in good standing. Leverage relationships with faculty, administrators and alums on your key college campuses. Please don’t just show up on campus unannounced and expect to be overwhelmed with the best prospects on campus. That doesn’t happen even to the big players.

Good luck to student & employer alike. Sometimes the “luck factor” also weighs-in and it starts with working in partnership with the college careers services and job placement office on campus.
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Sat, 29 Nov 2014 9:10am GMT
Phill Hayes@ Leo
Every careers person I have ever met cares deeply about the students and graduates they serve. The majority also seem to feel like they are going to war with a pea shooter, woefully underarmed to serve the student population with the effect they would like.

Greater emphasis for careers education within education, along with more resource would give these professionals the power they need to help as many students as possible.
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