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Me in a minute – A simple strategy for developing and showcasing personal employability

Graduates require evidence of employability beyond marks and grades to differentiate themselves in the highly competitive labour market. Universities cannot guarantee employment, but they can engage students in learning and recognise achievement that is relevant to employment. Here, we share preliminary insights from interviews investigating student perceptions of an extra-curricular video strategy designed to develop and showcase graduate employability. The Me in a Minute video strategy provides students with support to film a one minute video pitch aimed at potential employers. Student perceptions of the strategy suggest that in addition to providing an individualised artefact that can be used to showcase achievement, the strategy engages students in reflection that helps them to better understand and articulate evidence of their achievements relevant to employment. Furthermore, students value the learning associated with pitching, more than the video itself.

The strategy: Me in a Minute

Me in a Minute is a video strategy developed at Deakin University to emphasise graduate employability to students and employers. Students are provided with support to produce a one-minute video pitching their
knowledge, capabilities and experience to prospective employers. The video strategy is offered to all students across the university, regardless of discipline or course. In their video, students select three of Deakin’s eight graduate learning outcomes to focus on and must provide
evidence of their achievement. Deakin’s graduate learning outcomes are described as follows:

1. Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities: demonstrating systematic understanding of their discipline or profession, relative to the level of study
2. Communication: using oral, written and interpersonal communication to inform, motivate and effect change
3. Digital literacy: using technologies to find, use and disseminate information
4. Critical thinking: evaluating information using critical an analytical thinking and judgment
5. Problem solving: creating solutions to authentic,real world and ill-defined problems
6. Self-management: working and learning independently, and taking responsibility for personal actions
7. Teamwork: working and learning with others from different disciplines and backgrounds
8. Global citizenship: engaging ethically and productively in the professional context and with diverse communities and cultures in a global context.

Preliminary findings

At the time of data collection, 87% of 114 students who participated in Me in a Minute had a LinkedIn profile, but only 43% had shared their Me in a Minute on LinkedIn.

However, interview participants were overwhelmingly positive about the video strategy. Of course, we acknowledge that students who participate in research of this kind are more likely to participate if they have an
extremely positive or negative experience to share. For this reason, we ensured that we spoke to students who were and were not sharing the video at the time of data collection. Interestingly, students who were not sharing the video still spoke highly of the experience. These students reported they had either removed the video from their profile because it did not reflect their more recent experience, or had never shared it because they were not actively seeking work or engaging with LinkedIn
as a professional platform.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Me in a minute: A simple strategy for developing and showcasing personal employability – ASCILITE 2017

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