What if the first website that came up in a search for a student’s name listed their achievements instead of questionable spring break pictures?
Thanks to the new program readMedia, that is now possible.
ReadMedia is a website that allows universities to spread the word about students’ accomplishments.
Through readMedia, accomplishments are recognized by university-validated badges. When employers search for students online, their readMedia profiles are in the top results. The profiles display all the badges students have earned.
Students can also personalize their profiles to include past employment and achievements not recognized by badges.
In addition to creating an online profile, readMedia distributes student achievements to their hometown newspapers.
“It’s pretty cool that this website is localizing and giving students awards,” UW-Whitewater football player Eric Kindler said. “I don’t know if I would utilize this personally because I have a lot for my résumé already, but for someone who does not have much to add, this would be beneficial.”
UW-Whitewater purchased the readMedia program with funding by Chancellor Richard J. Telfer this summer and has been busy gaining department participation.
“Participation has been excellent, and we already have nine badges including Warhawk Athletics, National Champions, Resident Assistant, Resident Hall Association, Student Leadership, Athletic Honors, Undergraduate Research, Whitewater Student Government and Faculty Recognition,” Sara Kuhl, director of Marketing and Media Relations, said.
ReadMedia “is not like the boy scouts” where students can earn badges, Kuhl said. The badges are awarded based on student participation in campus organizations, academics and athletics.
UW-Whitewater’s badges are customized with designs created by the Marketing and Media Relations team.
Kuhl said student organizations on campus and other departments interested in the badge program can contact the Marketing and Media Relations department to create a general badge.
“Unlike 10 years ago, people understand that employers are going to Google their names,” Ron Buchholz, director of Career and Leadership Development, said.
According to Buchholz, a person’s online image is extremely important.
Buchholz said the top five or 10 applicants applying for a job get searched online and cut down based on their online profiles. According to Buchholz, a summer internship eliminated 11 students strictly based on their Facebook profiles.
“When students are starting their careers, they want to make sure their network is the cleanest,” Buchholz said. “It’s always a good idea to Google yourself and see what comes up.”
Buchholz also advises students to:
• Be aware of their online image
• Check Facebook privacy settings
and present a professional image
• Be proactive by using sites like
LinkedIn to help network with
• Work with the staff at Career and
Buchholz said sites like readMedia are the future of job searching.
“Ten years from now, résumés will be a thing of the past,” Buchholz said. “Some product will come up that will replace résumés.”
By the time the incoming freshmen become seniors, their readMedia profiles could be full and a great resource for attracting employers Kuhl said.
“[readMedia] is a way to promote success at Whitewater,” Buchholz said.
Kuhl said ReadMedia associates success and achievement with UW-Whitewater. This then creates added value to a degree at the university.
According to readMedia, “Hundreds of leading colleges and universities drive enrollment, engagement and student outcomes with readMedia’s reputation marketing solution.”