New Rules Of Job Hunting For 2010 Grads Facing Bleak Job Market

May 20, 2010

college graduate

1.65 million students will receive their bachelor's degree this spring and will join a market where, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers are receiving 40 applications for every open position. Even though employers plan to hire 5.3 percent more new college grads than they did last year, offers will favor business and technical majors. In fields where the demand is less, job seekers will need to be innovative in their approach.

Business and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis recommends grads aggressively leverage their networks. "Talk to your fellow graduates, friends, and classmates. Ask if people found jobs," she said on "If they did, congratulate them, but then follow-up with a very important question, 'Did you turn down any job offers?'" She then suggests asking contacts for recommendations to their new employers.

"The painful truth is, even when jobs are plentiful, very few of us have résumés strong enough to naturally rise to the top of the pile on merit alone," said Allyson Moore, director of the Career Center at Amherst College, in the Wall Street Journal blog Hire Ed. "The best way is to find insiders and turn them into allies who can pluck your résumé from obscurity and help champion your candidacy," said Moore. Starting with your college's database of alumni, she suggests locating people already working for the companies students want to join and asking for informational interviews.

University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides is reminding students about to enter the job market that their first jobs may not be exactly what they had planned. "I would urge them to take something that may come their way, even if it is not where they hoped to be, and make the most of that opportunity," said Pastides told the Columbia Free Times. "I would encourage them to be a leader where they can, come up with good ideas that may improve effectiveness or efficiency and good things are likely to happen."

Taking initiative and looking beyond obvious opportunities that are posted on job boards is key, as is leveraging internships and prior work experience. Employers look favorably on any kind of work experience, 16% of employers surveyed NACE survey indicated that any type was acceptable.

The survey also revealed that three quarters of employers regard internships a sign of a highly motivated candidate. Philip Gardner, director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI) told the Christian Science Monitor "If you're risk-taking ... adaptable ... and you can communicate [in a diverse workplace], it's going to go a long way."

Compiled by Staff


"Class of 2010 Grads Join Tough Job Market", CBS The Early Show, May 18, 2010

"Finding a Job Is an Inside Job", WSJ Hire Education Blog, May 20, 2010, Edited by Krishnan Anantharaman

"Advice for New Grads in a Tough Job Market", Columbia Free Times, May 19, 2010, Andy Brack

"Congratulations, class of 2010 college graduates! Are you hired yet?", Christian Science Monitor May 14, 2010, Stacy Teicher Khadaroo

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