Session four: MyCareer

Student Focus Group

Session four: The new system - MyCareer

Session Overview

  • 19 February 2019
  • Number of Students: 12
  • CES Staff/Guests: Emily Packer, Alena Tkacova, Mark Beresford (Careers Consultant) and Ben Pridham (Systems and Information Officer).

Topic 1: How do you access MyCareer?

Main topics of concern and interest

  • Mobile vs desktop use
  • Online presence, links and visibility

Main discussion

Students agreed that they are more likely to access MyCareer on their phone to do a casual search for vacancies or events, save the items of interest and return to it later on laptop. The group agreed that applications or further research would be completed on a laptop/desktop rather than mobile/tablet. There were individual differences though in terms of device preferences, as some students would do everything related to career search on their laptop and would not necessarily use their phone.

Online access is already well spread and links to MyCareer can be found on the DLE, website and the Plymouth app. The accessibility or location of the links however is not ideal e.g. students suggested that the website should host the link at the top of the page next to the ‘login’; rather than having to find it scrolling down and clicking through the Careers and Employability ‘suitcase’ icon.

This also highlighted a possible issue of branding as there is nothing that associate the ‘suitcase’ icon with MyCareer. The group felt that the platform would benefit from having its own logo and branding to stand out and be quickly recognised. It was noted however that implementation of such change might not be possible due to University’s branding guidelines. A similar issue was raised in the topic of the app tile which doesn’t have an easily recognised picture or name. The position of the tile was also advised to be problematic as appears right at the bottom – ‘won’t find it unless you are specifically looking for it’. Students also suggested to insert the link in the Microsoft front page on DLE and on the home page of social media accounts.

Would like to see

  • Link to MyCareer on the top of University of Plymouth website.
  • The Plymouth app tile closer to the top.
  • Making the platform more easily recognisable with its own branding.
  • Link on the home pages Careers and Employability of social media accounts.

Topic 2: How would you promote MyCareer?

Main topics of concern and interest

  • Importance of face to face advertising and peer to peer endorsement
  • Liaising with SU and societies
  • Creating a comprehensive and visually appealing demo
  • Logo and branding
  • Digital vs paper based marketing campaign
The discussion firstly acknowledged the importance of face to face promotion and the influence of academics’ endorsement. Students suggested that the portal could be promoted in lectures (by lecturers or careers advisers) provided that this is done at times when the work load is low – e.g. induction week, gear lectures, between modules or at the beginning of semester 2. This also extended to in-direct contact through emails or newsletters.

Online promotion was closely linked to the issue raised in the accessibility of the platform. The discussion implied that bringing the links to the top of the pages (website, DLE and app) could generate more awareness and traffic. To drive new traffic even further the group suggested to introduce a ‘tell a friend’ scheme which could issue a code to be passed on to another student to earn an incentive e.g. coffee. The popularity of this suggestion was quite high as peer to peer endorsement is thought to have a strong impact. With this in mind, the group further suggested to partner up with the SU and sponsor a competition for societies to promote MyCareer through their channels with an opportunity to earn income for their events.

Social media was said to benefit from targeted advertising, some students suggested that this is particularly effective on Facebook where in some instances they came across an event advert that was of interest. The group really liked the presentation on how to use MyCareer at the beginning of the session and suggested to create a demo video to show how easy and useful the platform is.

Most students agreed that videos are still very popular on social media. The demo itself was a popular topic in terms of its use – on the website, on social media, on screens in the Hub as well as its own stand at the careers fairs. All students agreed that seeing how simple the platform is and how valuable and resourceful it can be would make them more likely to use it in future.

Online and digital promotion according to students is far more effective than printed marketing material as they already receive a lot of leaflets. MyCareer is currently promoted on a business card which received a positive response in terms of simplicity and likeability to keep. The group liked that the card is simple and contains minimum of information, however suggested to change the design as it looks too similar (or the same) as the other printed material in the Hub. Students agreed that this would again benefit from its own clear and definable logo and branding as discussed in the topic one. To emphasise the importance of branding, students also felt that having the MyCareer logo on freebies would also serve as a powerful promotional tool. The group used the example of Career Navigator mugs and agreed that they found the freebie really useful which make them more likely to keep it.

Would like to see

  • Promotion in lectures and endorsement from academics.
  • Links more prominent at the top of the website, DLE and on the Plymouth app.
  • Clear branding of its own.
  • Peer to peer promotion in form of ‘tell a friend’ scheme with incentives.
  • Funding a competition for societies to promote through their own channels.
  • Targeted advertising on social media.
  • Demo video promoted on social media or screens in the Hub and around the campus.
  • Having its own stand at the careers fairs.
  • Freebies with a clear branding instead of printed leaflets.

Topic 3: How do you find the usability/functionality of MyCareer?

Main topics of concern and interest

  • General appearance and functionality
  • Filtering preferences
  • Terminology in job opportunities types
  • Events layout and booking
  • Simplifying way of tracking events, opportunities and appointments
Main discussion

Students were presented with an introduction and demonstration how to use MyCareer at the beginning of the session and the group jointly agreed that the platform is easy to use and user friendly. Although it has been noted that the platform would benefit from visual revamp adding more vibrant colours and pictures to make it more engaging and appealing.

Further to general content, students would like to see a tab with ‘staff information’ with a photo and basic information including how to contact (or how to make an appointment). A basic personalisation allows the student to set up their profile and preferences in what they are interested in and what communications they receive. The group however highlighted the issue that they are having to filter each time they search for a job or event. The suggestion put forward by the group was to make the school/faculty as default (with an option to untick). With regards to communications, students felt that sending messages might be more effective than emails (e.g. appointment/event reminder).

A job search, being one of the main interests for students, received positive response for having a good layout, direct links and an option to save and return to it later. There was a discussion around the wording of the type of the opportunities as placements specifically are using two different names (placement, schemes) and sometimes it is not clear whether this refers to the ’year in industry’ or a short term summer placement. The group suggested to streamline the names and possibly offer a ‘description/explanation’ of the term that would appear when hovering over it.

Students would also like to see an option to save their CVs to their profile to make it easier to download and adapt, or to use in an appointment with an adviser. To help with the application process the group also felt it would be beneficial to have a link to the Career Navigator at the bottom of each job description.

The events section was explored in two different views (list or calendar) and on two devices (mobile vs laptop). The group liked the layout of the calendar on the laptop because they could see everything happening that day/week and suggested that this could be the default setting on a desktop view (with an option to change to a list). The confusion is caused by the times slots which visually appear as a clickable boxes however they are not. It has been noted that this has already been flagged up with the developers. The mobile view of events requires streamlining as students highlighted an issue that they have to tap on a particular event more than once in order to open it. 

In addition to events and the rule that booking is open two weeks in advance, the group suggested to create MyCalendar as another tab which would save all the events they attended, planning to attend (whether they are just saved or booked) and also deadlines for saved opportunities. 

Would like to see

  • The platform to be more visually appealing, adding colours and pictures.
  • A tab for staff information and contacts.
  • A default setting for filtering set for school/faculty (with an option to untick).
  • Reminders in form of messages rather than emails.
  • The terms for type of opportunities to be more streamlined and explained.
  • Option to save their CVs in their profile.
  • Link to career navigator at the bottom of each job description.
  • Calendar setting for events as a default for the desktop view and mobile view to be simplified.
  • Set up MyCalendar as another tab to track attended, saved or booked events and to keep an eye on saved opportunities deadlines.