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4 Ways to Make Your Registrar’s Office More Efficient
The World Is Becoming More Digital, So Should Your Diplomas
Our Recap of the 107th AACRAO Annual Meeting
Best Practices for Structuring the Registrar’s Office
5 of Our Favs – For the Record, an AACRAO Podcast Roundup
Make Parchment a Priority for Your Web and Marketing Teams
5 Ways To Help College Students Find Good Jobs After Graduation
2 Simple Ways To Re-Engage Alumni
Alumni engagement is a task all colleges struggle with, and you’ve likely felt the strain yourself. You have a network of adults all connected through a single institution, but it’s difficult to get them involved.
Struggle no longer – here are two simple ways to re-engage your alumni:
1. Invest in their success
To most alumni, every message from their alma mater feels like a request for something – a donation supporting a fundraiser, an appeal to mentor a current student or a request to use their likeness. Your former students may respond once in a while, but too many of these requests become tedious.
Other typical alumni re-engagement efforts simply tell your former students what’s new with the school. They come in the form of magazines and newsletters published by the institution. Unfortunately, your alumni’s interest in these types of details starts waning the minute they step off campus. Once they’ve secured a good job, they think about their school less and less (assuming they don’t care for college sports or happened to dot the i in marching band)
Essentially, your school doesn’t appear as relevant to your alumni as it was when they were students. Whether or not this feeling is true is beside the point. Your alumni think they don’t need you, so they start to ignore you.
It’s up to you to show alumni that you’re still important. Do this by reminding alumni why they chose your school in the first place: for the credentials. By giving them digital access to their transcripts, diplomas, and other such documents, you remind alumni that your institution is heavily invested in their success.
Ordinarily, alumni would have to contact the school’s registrar office to get copies of their diplomas, transcripts, licenses or other documents necessary for education verification. Without these papers, they have a hard time proving their background to employers. Help them out by making it easy for them to request this information and send it in the blink of an eye.
2. Meet them on relevant channels
When was the last time you checked your mailbox when you weren’t expecting a package from Amazon? If you’re the type who checks every day, chances are you’re often disappointed by the letters you find. Your alumni feel the same way, even when that letter is from their alma mater. Usually, missives from your school go right in the garbage.
Avoid the trap of the trash can by interacting with alumni on the channels they use in the here and now, not a decade (or even a year) ago. In 2018, that means extending your engagement efforts to social media. No doubt your school has general Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages already. It’s beneficial to incorporate alumni engagement posts onto these platforms or to create separate profiles specifically for interacting with former students.
In fact, your digital credential tool can help you in this area, assuming you choose the right one. With Parchment, alumni (and current students!) can share their credentials on their social media platforms. What better way to show school pride than posting a verified version of a diploma on Facebook?
To further engage former students, why not include some user-generated content or hold a social media contest? Have alumni share screenshots of their digital credentials and randomly select a winner for a prize. For a simpler approach, use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram Stories to conduct an informal poll. The more you can get alumni involved via the platforms they use the most, the greater chance you have of re-engaging them.
4 Best Practices for Basic Receive Members
If you are a Basic Receive Member, here are some tips and tricks to help you keep things running smoothly and efficiently.
- Receive. Route. Download. When receiving documents, first route by dragging to one of the destinations on the left, and then zip and download. The online status of the document changes to ‘Download confirmed’ and the student automatically gets an email telling them that the document has been downloaded. If you print/download before routing to a destination, no emails are sent.
- Add Your Email. Add your email address to your Parchment Receive account in your General Settings. That way, when schools or students use Parchment Send to send transcripts to your email address, the documents will automatically and conveniently go to your Receive account.
- Zip Overnight. Check the ‘Automatically Prepare Overnight’ option in your Destination Settings so that the system zips your documents overnight. Then those documents will be ready to download as a zip file first thing in the morning.
- Customize Status Emails. Personalize the confirmation message to include customized information in the email students get when documents are downloaded. Go to Settings > Inbox > Delivery. You have 400 characters to work with.
Want to know more about using Parchment Receive? Check out these additional resources:
3 Myths About Cover Letter Writing to Tell Your Graduating Seniors
Today’s graduating college students face an employment landscape unlike that of any generation before them. Not only are businesses more international than ever – increasing the number of applicants competing for a single position – but modern ideas like working remotely, contingent/freelance staff and an emphasis on soft skills have altered what companies look for in an employee.
This, unfortunately, means it’s that much harder for students to get a job – even if their credentials are a perfect match. That’s why nuances like a well-crafted cover letter are so important.
That said, just as the job landscape has changed over the past few decades, so too have best practices for writing cover letters. Let’s look at what’s changed by debunking three cover letter myths and reviewing how a school’s Career Services employees can help students write them more effectively:
Myth No. 1: Cover letters are short and light on information
Old advice dictated that cover letters were to be a paragraph long with a generic greeting (“To whom it may concern,” of course) and a brief introduction of the applicant. These days, that type of thinking won’t cut it. Job recruiters are inundated with dozens, if not hundreds, of applications throughout the hiring process. In the interest of saving time, they want to know as much about a candidate as they can before scheduling an interview.
When helping students write cover letters, encourage them to go beyond the basics when discussing themselves and their credentials. Help them describe how their school experience and assignments gave them both the hard and soft skills necessary to succeed in the specific role, rather than simply saying they studied X, Y and Z.
Myth No. 2: Cover letters are just an introduction to the rest of the application
Cover letters were often seen as sort of a throwaway document – a formality that just introduced the resume and application. But as we said earlier, hiring managers want more information up front, and the cover letter is the best way for students to make themselves known.
Student credentials can play a major role here, if written about correctly. According to PwC’s 20th annual CEO Survey, one primary concern of most CEOs (77 percent of them, to be precise) is that incoming new hires don’t have the key skills necessary to succeed in their new positions. Therefore, students should detail in their cover letters both their credentials and the skills they accrued while acquiring those credentials – for example, improved collaboration, proficiency in a specific software application, strong time management and more.
“Students need the ability to easily access their credentials.”
Of course, it helps if students can easily and quickly access their credentials in a secure location. The more easily students can acquire this information, the more likely they are to include it in their cover letters. When helping students write their cover letters, make sure they know where and how to find their credentials, and even how to direct potential employers to verified copies.
Myth No. 3: Cover letters avoid mention of workplace culture
If you’ve paid attention to recent hiring strategies or even read a few job listings, you’ll have noticed that many employers focus on concepts like free snacks or meals, creative workspaces and volunteer days. The idea is that promoting certain perks creates a compelling culture that attracts top-qualified applicants. What’s more, businesses finally understand that a strong office culture increases employee engagement, which can lead to higher productivity and reduced turnover.
If you know the company or school to which a student is applying emphasizes a specific branding idea or company culture, encourage that individual to explain what makes them a great fit. This shouldn’t take up the bulk of the cover letter, but a brief paragraph helps hiring managers get a greater sense of a candidate and imagine them in a specific role.
As today’s graduating students face important decisions about their futures, they need every advantage to help them gain the best opportunities. By providing access to their credentials and helping them adapt their cover letters to meet modern employer-held expectations, you give your students the best possible chance of finding a fantastic job after college.
Parchment makes it easy for students and alumni to access and send their credentials. See how partnering with us improves learners’ success!
Faster, Easier Diploma Replacement at Emory University with Parchment
University Registrar’s Offices are notoriously busy and always looking for ways to increase efficiency—like taking replacement diploma ordering online. That’s why Emory University partnered with Parchment to simplify the process. Today, graduates can reorder lost or destroyed diplomas on the school’s online transcript ordering portal, and track order status as well. As a result, the staff member solely dedicated to processing the paper diploma orders now has time to do more.
According to Brittney Simmons, Business Operations Specialist, it was a daunting task to keep track of the paper trail generated by the replacement diploma ordering process. With Parchment, there are no more paper forms or checks and money orders for the office to handle. And there are fewer calls from students wondering where their orders are, which also saves time and money thanks to tracking options through Parchment.
“Parchment has allowed us to create a simpler process for ordering a replacement diploma, making it a lot easier for us and our students,” Brittney says. For the busy Registrar’s Office staff, ordering diplomas through the Parchment storefront is fast, secure and environmentally friendly. Something the students, and staff, really love.
Check out the case study!
[callout-1 image=”/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Emory-University-CaseStudy-Thumbnail.png” button-text=”View Case Study” button-link=”/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Emory-University-Diploma-Reorder.pdf” secondary-text=”Read more about how you can start accepting Diploma Reorders through Parchment”]“Parchment has allowed us to create a simpler process for ordering a replacement diploma, making it a lot easier for us and our students.” [/callout-1]
Digital Credentials Are the Key To Opportunity for Professionals
As professionals, each of us is looking to improve our careers and potentially make that next step. To do that, at one point or another we may need to seek additional learning or skills. Whether that’s a professional development course, a training program, or even going to trade or graduate school. Each one will result in a credential, such as a badge, certificate, license or degree, that certifies all of your new knowledge and opens the door that was holding you back.
With so much on the line, it doesn’t make any sense to have these credentials only as paper documents that your employer will never see. Without verified proof, they just have to take your word for it that you have the credential you say you have.
Luckily, employers, licensing boards, associations, and other organizations are utilizing Parchment’s digital credential platform to issue digital diplomas, certificates, and badges to their recipients. Offering digital credentials makes a big difference to both the learner and to the organization.
For Employers, Going Digital Is Simple
Adopting digital credentials for your organization is simple and secure!
- Employers love being able to increase brand awareness and employee recognition with a shareable digital certificate.
- Licensing boards and other organizations find managing their credential programs simple by uploading a spreadsheet.
- Associations can increase their membership and reach by letting their members promote the association through their social media channels.
- The secure and verified link to a digital credential is used by employees any time they need to share the credential you’ve issued them.
Learners Love Digital Credentials
We live in a digital world, so having our achievements in an easily shareable format can help learners make the most of their investment.
- Available immediately, digital credentials can be put to work right away. Most recipients of digital credentials are able to get the steps to their promotion moving more quickly. They don’t need to wait for their paper credential to arrive!
- Being able to share digitally on social media platforms like LinkedIn can make them much more marketable. Back up your claims with verified credentials to rise to the top of the pack.
- Enjoy one place to collect and manage all of their credentials. Parchment lets everyone store their transcripts, diplomas, licenses, and certificates in one convenient place. Anytime you need to share your credentials, they’re just a click away.
In the modern world we live in, having our credentials stuck in a drawer or on the wall, doesn’t help. We need to be able to securely share our accomplishments to get that opportunity we’re looking for. You earned your credentials, you might as well be able to show them off!
To learn more about offering digital credentials like badges, diplomas, certificates, and licenses, contact us here!
A Communication Guide To Promoting Digital Credentials
When diplomas and certificates are digital, they are a powerful tool for your students. As an institution, you can help your graduates make the most of their education by making sure they know how to claim and use their digital credential. In this post, we’ll cover some of the guidelines for how to really promote digital credentials at your institution. The more your graduates are claiming and sharing your diplomas and certificates the more your brand will be emboldened. This guide will make it easy as 1-2-3!
Before we get into where you should promote (including some great samples) here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re creating your messaging that will make it effective.
- Be brief. No one likes reading a really long paragraph when a sentence will do.
- Let graduates know why a digital credential is important for them.
- Include pictures. A picture says a thousand words … and you remember how we feel about too many words, right?
- Think mobile friendly. Chances are you’ll reach students the first time on a mobile device like their smartphone.
- Hook to students’ emotion. Acknowledge a graduate pride and accomplishment rather than simply providing transactional information.
Making Your Plan
According to Nielsen Media, it requires 42 impressions for the average person to absorb a message or brand. That means you can’t promote the fact that you now offer digital diplomas or certificates too much. Letting your students claim and share their credentials digitally is a big deal … make sure they know how much digital credentials can help them!
Here are the top 5 things to keep in mind as you’re developing your strategy:
- Add information about digital diplomas or certificates to your website. 90% of your graduates will look there first.
- Email graduates before, during, and after their conferral.
- Text message too! Institutions that issue their digital credentials via text message see a 30% better claim rate.
- Include a flyer in your diploma cover during graduation to let them know about the digital credential they will receive.
- Encourage your graduates to share their credentials on LinkedIn!
Download The Complete Guide!
[callout-1 image=”/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/KitThumbnail.png” button-text=”Download” button-link=”http://info.parchment.com/communication-kit-for-digital-credentials.html” secondary-text=”Guide to Promoting Digital Credentials to Your Learners”]
It’s easy to get started with this complete guide to promote digital credentials. Go ahead and check it out and let us know when you’re ready to start getting digital credentials into the hands of your graduates!