Thursday, January 12, 2012

Going PRO After College

A few weeks ago I had a in-depth conversation with the director of career services for one of the largest (if not the largest) university in the state of Florida.  The goal of the conversation (for me) was to learn more about the current tools and tactics being used by career centers to assist college students with their plans for life after college.  Surprisingly, the career center approach hasn't changed much in the 15+ years since I first graduated.  The process still goes something like this:

1. Resume (now LinkedIn) Writing
2. Career Fairs: Currently attended by fewer large companies with fewer jobs to fill
3. Interview Training and Scheduling:  Wear a shirt and tie.  Don't look nervous.

Given all that we now know about the world and the changing landscape of business (particularly here in the U.S. where small business is king), shouldn't the process focus almost entirely on:

1. Personal Branding
2. Networking

Chances are, the majority of today's college graduates are either going to change jobs (within smaller companies) multiple times over the next 10 years and/or start multiple businesses on their own. In either case, ones ability to brand themselves effectively... and use that brand to network and influence people in order to drive sales, are critical skill sets within a small business economy.

From a personal branding standpoint, the PROskore profile provides a great way to establish professional reputation at an early age.  In fact, most recent college grads will have a respectable score right away.  Think about it... a college grad has a degree, and is likely to have formed a large network on Facebook and Twitter.  Remember, professional background + social media influence are two factors in determining a PROskore.

As far as networking, PROskore is an amazing tool to help grads get connected with small business owners at the local level.  By virtue of our scoring and ranking system, a college grad can quickly discover who some of the most reputable and influential small business professionals are in their local community.  The next opportunity may not even come from the professionals they connect with but rather as a result of the collective influence of those they've connected to.  Knowing who has influence is the first step.

Calling all career centers... It's time to start teaching your grads how to be PRO's!  Get them started on PROskore today!

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