Last year, we helped Calum Roberts create his Kloodle profile. This allowed us to garner his feedback and develop our site so that it was as helpful as possible; but it also helped him, as he was attending an interview with Arup later that day. The first few sections of a Kloodle profile are straight forward: you input grades, work experience and upload your profile and background pictures. We then, however, reached the “Achievements” section.
Calum was stumped. Which is ironic, as he is a wicketkeeper for his cricket team.
“I haven’t achieved anything.” said Calum. We felt his interview later that day would be a whitewash. “Achieved nothing” isn’t the answer of graduate highfliers.
“Come on,” we said, “You must’ve achieved something.” He was adamant. He couldn’t think of anything. Whilst we were trying to think of ideas for the poor lad, I was idly clicking through pictures on his Facebook profile. I came across this one.
“What’s with the tux?”
“Oh, that was the undergraduate of the year awards. I was nominated out of 10,000 engineering students.”
I was flabbergasted. Here we were struggling to fill in Calum’s achievement section, and he was failing to divulge that he was an “Undergraduate of the Year” finalist.
“Ohhhhh, I didn’t know you could put things like that. Well, that’s similar to the Edinburgh Award. I won that one!”
Despite thinking he had achieved nothing, we had just uncovered two amazing achievements. We had Calum’s CV in front of us to help with his profile, and there was no mention of either. Doubtless, he would have forgot to tell his interviewers later that day.
A year later, and we have spoken to numerous college careers professionals for whom this story resonates. “Our students are the same. None of them realise that refereeing kids’ football or working a Saturday job are achievements, let alone evidence of soft skills.” Students seem to have a mental block when it comes to achievements, extra curricular activities and their interests outside of college.
Trouble is, these are EXACTLY what employers are interested in.
“We want somebody we can spend 40 hours a week with, and who’ll work hard,” said the Autotrader’s graduate recruitment people at the Manchester University Fair. “Grades are OK, but we are really looking for personality.”
Careers professionals are forever preaching the virtue of extra curricular activities to their charges. Fortunately, Kloodle can help. We believe that self-improvement and the development of soft skills is a continuous activity. It should feature every day in college. Here’s how Kloodle can help.
1. Blogging about activities, skills or work experience
Blogs on Kloodle allow students to write about the soft skills they develop during the activities they do. For example, a student may have organised a college trip to London for the college football club. The student may write about the organisation skills developed along the way, as well as communication and teamwork. The student can then tag these skills into a blog post, providing evidence for any hiring manager or admissions tutor.
2. Upload videos
The majority of students, nowadays, have access to smartphones. Using the Kloodle App, they are able to upload videos to their Kloodle profile. They may upload a video during a presentation they give, during a sporting event at college, or during an experiment they are doing in the chemistry lab. They may even want to film some group work they are doing. When a student uploads a video to Kloodle, they can tag in skills the video is demonstrating. Employers can then click on these skills and see the associated evidence.
Here’s a video on my interviewing skills, with Dr Paul Redmond, Director of Student Life at the University of Manchester.
3. Examples of your work
Some pieces of work are too good to only be seen by you and the person marking it. I felt that way about my dissertation. All the work that went into it, and ONLY two people ever got to see it. So I uploaded it to my Kloodle profile.
Sometimes, academic work is a fantastic way to demonstrate soft skills. My dissertation demonstrated resilience, analytical thinking, scientific ability and work ethic. Other people have uploaded extended projects, presentation slides to accompany a video of a presentation and work they received good marks for. Kloodle also accepts sound files, so musicians can upload examples of their music. People have also uploaded podcasts discussing issues that they care about. This can be particularly powerful for aspiring medics or politicians.
Speaking of podcasts, have you checked out the Kloodle Podcast?
4. Pictures speak 1000 soft skills
The Kloodle app also allows you to upload photos. This is what we at Kloodle call “The Kloodle Currency”. Photo uploads are something a student can do day in, day out to evidence their employability. During lesson, during extracurricular activities, during group work, open days, talks, events etc, students can upload pictures to their Kloodle profile and tag their skills. By doing this, students are cultivating their employability on a daily basis.
Employability is an ongoing process. Kloodle embeds the “Soft Skills Mindset” within the college curriculum. We eradicate the generation of students who haven’t achieved anything. Students will have soft skills engrained on the brain. They will know how sport improves communication skills, how group work is akin to teamwork, and how raising money for charity displays commercial awareness.
It is as intuitive as knowing how to revise.
By using Kloodle, students become employability machines. Want us to show you how? Get in touch with us today firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kloodle also helps your department to post vacancies to your students. Employers will be able to better access your students. Read more here.