Career Skills Map
Preparing millennials for the real world
Universities are struggling to provide students with a return on investment (ROI) that can support enrollment and retention. Following interviews with career center advisors, recruiters, and students, we found that not only are students graduating unprepared for the real world, but are completely unaware of the Career Center resources available to them. Seelio’s Skills Map is a beta extension that helps students understand, build, and track the eight 21st century skills employers want but struggle to find in potential candidates.
Using Seelio to bridge the educational gap
To understand Seelio’s role in bridging the gap between universities, students, and recruiters, we both analyzed existing data and performed user research on the specific topic. Initial interviews with students at second-tier colleges revealed how little students really understand about career preparation and what it entails. Not only were students putting off career preparation until the final semesters of their educations, but they are were resorting to Google searches and advice from peers when doing so.
- “I don’t know where [the Career Center] is. Didn’t know we have one — they should put up signs.” — Student 3 (Senior)
- “I’ve never heard of LinkedIn. [Career preparation] is more for when I’m close to the end of school. I’m not there yet.” — Student 5 (Sophomore)
Further market research and interviews with recruiters revealed how manual of a process university recruiting is. It seemed as though one of the reasons entry-level recruiting often yielded high turnover rates was because students weren’t being equipped with the appropriate soft skills to thrive in a real-world office environment.
- “Students aren’t aware of the skills that they need. They focus on problems to be solved instead of developing themselves or working with others.” — Talent Acquisition Program Manager
- "During a phone call, I immediately asks students to give her an overview of their experience. It’s a bad sign when student say ‘I currently go to school for this’ and don’t share any other experiences. I want to hear about work experience and school involvement.” — Human Resources Coordinator
create & test
Finding ways to motivate students
After reviewing findings from our initial research, we were tasked with designing and testing a proof-of-concept (PoC) within two months for our partnerships team to pitch to potential partner universities.
We worked with our VP of Academics to identify the top eight soft skills university recruiters look for in entry-level candidates. Following a quick session of brainstorming & ideation, we developed three concepts using low-fidelity prototypes that focused on motivating students through gamification.
Informal testing on campus revealed that students were easily able to grasp the value of a portfolio-based career preparation tool. Moreover, the visual measure of the students’ skills mastery seemed to be directly related to how confident students felt about their job preparedness.
- “It probably makes writing your resume so much easier and I’ve never had a resume so it was kind of all new to me. I’ve never had those questions asked about myself. I think it kind of helped me prepare for what I’m going have to put in my resume for the future” — Student 3
Using our PoC to launch a beta-testing campaign
Wireframe testing helped us narrow down our three concepts to a single design that uses a radar chart to help students easily assess their strengths and weaknesses across all eight career skills. For each skill, students are prompted to complete activities based on common behavioral interview questions, which they can subsequently showcase as works in their Seelio profiles.
After communicating design specifications to the development team, we began developing a campaign for beta testing the Skills Map PoC. The campaign includes a fresh rebranding of Seelio specific to the Skills Map, Welcome and Milestone emails, printed help guides, and leaderboards to track progress amongst groups of students.
Beta testing for the Skills Map will began in late April of 2016.
- Using findings from user interviews, brainstormed and created concepts for interactive paper prototypes.
- Performed informal user testing using paper prototypes and performed qualitative data analysis to inform design of final design.
- Established visual hierarchy and designed complete set of responsive, pixel-perfect mockups using Adobe Photoshop.
- Communicated design interactions and language to development team using Trello and Google Documents.
- Using a BEM methodology, developed a style guide to communicate design specifications to development team.
- Collaborated with marketing team to develop a plan for a limited beta launch. Created all designs for beta launch, printed collateral, help guides, and campaign emails.
user experience research, user experience design, user interface design, front-end development
Winter 2015 - Spring 2016s
Adobe Illustrator CS6, Adobe Photoshop CS6, InVision