Approaching the Job Market for 2009 Graduates

With graduation rapidly approaching, many seniors are beginning to worry about their post-graduation plans. It seems every news outlet is reminding us daily about rapid unemployment and job cuts. Students eagerly walk across the stage to receive their diploma, however with today’s market it seems like that diploma no longer will guarantee a job. To handle the shifting market, students need to realize the reality of the job market to better prepare for the job search ahead.

With the market at a low, it is important that students do all that they can to distinguish themselves. The results of NACE’s (National Association of Colleges and Employers) 2009 Student Survey found that just 19.7 percent of the Class of 2009 (May) who had applied for jobs had one by the end of April. In contrast, 23 percent of graduates with an internship experience had a job by the end of April. For those who didn’t do an internship, the job market was especially unwelcoming: Just 14 percent of those who hadn’t been interns landed jobs as of April.

The study cites: “The Class of 2009 saw significant cuts in hiring, and even an internship is not a guarantee of a job offer,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director. “However, the numbers show that, especially in a tough job market, the student who has an internship has a distinct advantage over students who don’t have that experience.”

And while the economy is still low, the hiring outlook for new college graduates shows signs of improvement, according to results of monthly poll conducted by NACE. Results of the latest polling, reported as an index, show that the index for college hiring stands at 87.2—up slightly from 86.8 in the October poll.

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that there are jobs available! Students must prepare for the job search, making sure that their interview skills and resume are sharp. Students also should realize that with the tough economy they may have apply to a lot of different jobs. By increasing the applications completed, students can raise their chances of landing a job.

If you have any questions about specific companies or fields of interest, consider meeting with your Career Advisor, who will have more specific information concerning the job market. Students and Alumni (up to three years from graduation) can meet with their Career Advisor by making an appointment.-ebs

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