As career services professionals, we often preach the importance of a professional image, but, sometimes, our marketing and assessment methods can use a makeover. There are many free tools available to us with just a click of a mouse. I’m happy to share eight web tools that I’ve personally used in my career services work:
BITLY (bitly.com) – Bitly condenses web addresses into short formats that take up less room on marketing materials. Plus, it tracks how many times your link is visited AND when/where the visits are coming from.
Blackboard (blackboard.com ) – Many schools use Blackboard or a similar product as their classroom online learning management system. Hence, students log in frequently to access homework, grades, etc. Meet the students where they are! Ask your online learning department to create a hub for your office/program. I manage an extracurricular professional development program through Blackboard, allowing me to post material, track student progress, send targeted emails, and connect virtually through web conferencing tools all within a program that’s already familiar to my students.
Canva (canva.com) – Create professional eye-catching marketing materials such as posters, social media ads, gift certificates, etc. Personally, I enjoy it because it’s fun to use AND, for us non-graphic designers, we can now create a polished look for our office that exudes legitimacy and demands attention.
Google Forms (google.com/forms) – If you haven’t started utilizing this tool for assessments yet, you’ll definitely want to check it out! Not only does it allow you to create surveys quickly and easily, but it also gives you instant data. Ever been asked to quickly produce a report based off of a recent assessment? If you’re using Google Forms for your assessment, then you’ll already have instant graphs and charts ready to go for that last minute report.
ISSUE (issuu.com) – This fun tool is great for newsletters, employment fair programs, and other booklet type documents. Simply upload your file into the website and it creates a fun virtual flip-through publication. Maintain a public hub for all of your previous publications. Take it a step further, and email out your publication using a Bitly link because there’s nothing better than instant easy data collection.
MailChimp (mailchimp.com) – This tool helps you to create visually appealing emails and it also has data collecting capabilities. Their templates are very easy to customize. As I mentioned earlier regarding Canva, I can’t stress enough the elevated level of legitimacy and importance that professional marketing materials exude.
Poll Everywhere (polleverywhere.com) – With Microsoft PowerPoint embedding capabilities, encourage group participation during workshops and presentations. Poll your students on multiple choice or open ended questions. Students can submit their answers via text or internet browser. The free version works great for small groups, but a larger poll might require one of the several upgrade options.
SignUpGenius (signupgenius.com) – Yes, there are other sign-up generators available, but I haven’t found one that I like better than this. Why not have some fun and unleash your creative flair when organizing on-campus employer visits, fairs, etc.?
In November, #SACareer is dedicated to technology. Read how your peers are utilizing technology to elevate their offices and run more efficiently.
This post is part of our #SACareer series, addressing careers in student affairs, careers outside of student affairs, and the work of career services professionals. Read more about the series in Jake Nelko’s intro post. Each post is a contribution by a member or friend of the Commission for Career Services from ACPA. Our organization exists to benefit the careers of career services professionals, student affairs professionals, and anyone supporting students in the career endeavors. For more information about how to get involved with the Commission for Career Services or the #SACareer blog series, contact Cristina Lawson at email@example.com.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Mallory Bower on Career Services and Job Search Tips