College Job Market to Become More Competitive, According to's Annual...

Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:00am EDT

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College Job Market to Become More Competitive, According to's Annual Forecast

CHICAGO, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The job market for this year's college
graduates is inspiring stiff competition, as employers slow their hiring pace
amidst economic uncertainty.  Fifty-eight percent of employers plan to hire
recent college graduates in 2008, down from 79 percent in 2007.  Of those
hiring, however, 24 percent expect to hire more recent college graduates in
2008 compared to 2007 and 39 percent plan to increase starting salaries.  The
new survey, "College Job Forecast 2008," was conducted from February 11
through March 13, 2008 among 3,147 hiring managers and human resource
    "Employers are proceeding with caution as they wait to see how the
nation's economic situation unfolds," said Brent Rasmussen, COO of  "At the same time, the demand for educated labor persists,
fueling job opportunities and increased starting salaries for recent college
graduates in key areas such as healthcare, engineering, sales and information
    Thirty-two percent of employers expect to offer recent college graduates
starting salaries ranging between $30,000 and $40,000.  An additional 15
percent will offer between $40,000 and $50,000 and 11 percent will offer more
than $50,000.  Forty-two percent will offer less than $30,000.
    When asked to identify the biggest mistakes recent college graduates make
during the application and interview process, employers cited the following:  
 -- Acting bored or cocky (69 percent)
    -- Not dressing appropriately (65 percent)
    -- Coming to the interview with no knowledge of the company (59 percent)
    -- Not turning off cell phones or electronic devices (57 percent)
    -- Not asking good questions during the interview (50 percent)
    -- Asking what the pay is before the company considered them for the job
       (39 percent)
    -- Spamming employers with the same resume and/or cover letter (23
    -- Failure to remove unprofessional photos/content from social networking
       pages, Web pages, blogs, etc (20 percent)

    While the majority of employers (62 percent) do not have a minimum GPA
requirement for recruiting recent college graduates, three-in-ten (31 percent)
require a 3.0 and above and one-in-ten (11 percent) require a 3.5 and above.
    Rasmussen recommends the following tips to help recent college graduates
make the most of their job search efforts:    -- Customize your
communications.  Employers can spot spam a mile away.
       Research the company's products, press releases, financial growth,
       company culture, etc and tailor your communications to their specific
    -- Get involved.  Internships and part-time jobs aren't the only ways to
       build your resume.  Eighty-one percent of employers say volunteer work
       qualifies as relevant experience.  Twenty-eight percent of employers
       consider managing activities for sororities or fraternities as relevant
       experience while 19 percent say involvement in sports activities also
    -- Leverage the Internet.  You can apply to a wide range of job
       opportunities at, a job site tailor-made for college
       students and alumni. offers a free resume critique and
       can put you in touch with a professional resume writer to make your
       application more marketable.
    -- Clean up digital dirt.  Scrub social networking pages, blogs, Web
       sites, etc to ensure you convey a professional image to employers who
       may be using these sites for candidate research.  In addition, make
       sure to change your voicemail message if needed and use a professional
       email address.  Employers are less likely to hire someone at
    -- Be respectful of the employer's time.  Show up on time, dress
       conservatively, turn off your cell phone and let them know that you're
       really interested in the job.

    Survey Methodology
    This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on
behalf of among 3,147 hiring managers and human resource
professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least
significant involvement in hiring decisions) ages 18 and over between February
11, and March 13, 2008, respectively (percentages for some questions are based
on a subset U.S. Employers, based on their responses to certain questions).
With a pure probability sample of 3,147, one could say with a 95 percent
probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.75
percentage points and, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples
is higher and varies. A full methodology is available upon request.
    About is the nation's largest online job site with more than
23 million unique visitors and over 1.6 million jobs. Owned by Gannett Co.,
Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) and
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), the company offers a vast online and print
network to help job seekers connect with employers. powers
the career centers for more than 1,600 partners, including 140 newspapers and
leading portals such as America Online and MSN. More than 300,000 employers
take advantage of's easy job postings, 26 million-plus
resumes, Diversity Channel and more. and its subsidiaries
operate in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit
     Media Contact
     Jennifer Grasz


Jennifer Grasz of, +1-773-527-1164,
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