Starting a Career Services Blog

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  • 1. Starting a Career Services Blog Alicia Smyth & Valerie Kielmovitch Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University FCPA Conference 2012
  • 2. What is a Blog?• The term comes from “web log”• A personal journal published on the web which consists of entries or posts that are displayed in reverse chronological order• Single individual or small group, often with a theme on a specific subject
  • 3. Key Blogging Terms• Blogosphere: collective community of blogs, used by media to gauge public opinion on a topic• Blook: blog-based books• Blogroll: list of links that bloggers share or recommend to readers
  • 4. Notable Career Blogs• CAREEREALISM• Lindsey Pollak - Career Blog• Dan Schawbel – Personal Branding Blog• Tim’s Strategy – Ideas for Job Search, Career and Life• Gradversity
  • 5. Why Blog?• Disseminate information to constituents• Spotlight special populations and success stories• Build brand as an expert• Increase credibility on campus• Drive traffic to your university/career center website• Provide added value to career center resources
  • 6. Getting Started• Determine the focus of the blog and brainstorm content ideas• Decide on a platform• Identify staff who will manage/edit; get buy-in from entire team• Create branding• Set up blog• Start blogging• Market blog to constituents
  • 7. Deciding on a Platform• WordPress• Blog.com• Google Blogger• TypePad Micro• Tumblr• Weebly• LiveJournal
  • 8. Blog Content Ideas• Spotlights  Alumni  Students on co-op/internship  Employer Spotlights• Announcements• Photos and stories from professional conferences, presentations, or other events• Book and/or resource reviews• Success stories
  • 9. Blog Content Ideas, continued• Breaking News• Student and employer perspectives• Top Ten lists• Articles • Aspects of the job search • Networking • Economic Trends • Career fair/event preparation
  • 10. Content Sources• Career Services staff• Alumni• Students• Faculty• Employers• Experts in the college hiring realm• FCPA members/other university career center staff
  • 11. Marketing Your Blog• Send out an initial launch email to all students, alumni, and faculty/staff• Send out a regular blog digest to students and alumni who are seeking a job• Promote all blog posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter• Personally email faculty when students/alums from their program are featured• Make it easy for others to share content and/or follow your blog by using widgets (Follow button, RSS feed, etc.)• Ask other departments on campus to cross-promote: alumni relations, academics, communications, admissions, etc.• Add link/icon to your website and email signature• Make sure blog comes up in Google and Bing search results
  • 12. Assessing Blog Success• Analytics• Feedback from students and alumni• Number of comments• Number of social media shares• Recognition from external and/or internal sources
  • 13. Potential Challenges• Limited resources – time and/or staff• Spotlights can be difficult to obtain• Staff may be technically-challenged• May have to deal with negative feedback• Institution may not be in favor of blogging• IT may not support external sites/systems• Takes time to build a following
  • 14. Blogging Tips• Choose a template that is clean and visually pleasing• Use catchy headlines• Make posts easy to read and use your own personal writing style• Keep post paragraphs short and concise• Use bulleted lists, bold, or italics for emphasis• A picture says 1000 words• Use spellcheck; then re-read content
  • 15. Blogging Tips, continued• Plan blog posting schedule in advance; allow everyone in the office to contribute• Post with some frequency• Use categories and tags to make finding content within your blog easy• Hyperlink when possible and relevant• Reference works cited• Keep content interesting and timely• Don’t be afraid to modify as you go along
  • 16. Special ConsiderationsTime Commitment• Initial Set-up: at least 1 day• Technical Maintenance: 1-2 hours, monthly• Writing Articles: 2-3 hours, weekly• Editing: 1-2 hours, weekly• Logistics: 1-2 hours, semesterlyNote: all are approximate and depend on number ofposts planned/week, technical ability, and timemanagement
  • 17. Special Considerations, continuedUniversity Policies• Does your campus have a social media or blogging policy?Information Technology• Does your IT department have a blogging platform integrated into existing web product, or is there an external platform they prefer?
  • 18. The Embry-Riddle Career Services Blog Experience• Inspired by a tweet• How we got started  Collaborated with team to determine blog’s function and focus  Identified key players  Selected a platform and learned how to use it  Came up with theme and design
  • 19. ERAU CSO Blog ManagementStaffing:• Technical management, writing and editing• Logistics, writing and editingFrequency:• Fall/Spring: 2x week• Summer: 1x week
  • 20. Career Services Blog Examples• Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Demo): http://eraucso.wordpress.com• The University of Vermont: http://www.uvm.edu/~career/blog/• Marylhurst University: http://marylhurstcareerservices.wordpress. com
  • 21. Additional Resources• 10 Steps to Creating a WordPress Blog: http://www.seerinteractive.com/blog/10- steps-to-creating-a-wordpress-blog• Recommended Blogging Resources: http://www.problogger.net/recommended- blogging-resources• Books About Blogging (Amazon.com): http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2 ?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=blog
  • 22. Questions?Thank you for your time! If you haveadditional questions about blogging, pleasecontact us!Alicia: smythc6c@erau.eduValerie: kielmovv@erau.edu