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College Graduate Career Survey Reveals Tips for Students


BOSTON - Graduation is weeks away and the annual College Graduate Career Survey reveals that less than a quarter of student respondents have received full-time job offers, leaving more than half of them in competition for the best entry-level jobs. However, students maintain a positive outlook; 94% believe they will land a job within six months.

More than 2,800 students from over 400 colleges and universities completed Experience’s fifth annual College Graduate Career Survey sharing their views about the 2007 employment outlook.

Countdown to graduation: What’s the outlook from students’ perspective?

48% of respondents have started their job search, but have not yet received a full-time offer
22% have job offers in hand
15% will continue on to graduate school
10% have not yet started the job search
66% believe it will take less than three months to find a full-time job
How can students and employers connect?

This is a critical time for graduating college students and employers looking to hire them to fill entry-level positions. The College Graduate Career Survey results provide insight on how students and employers can get ahead of the competition.

Tips for Students

Network as much as possible: More than three-quarters of respondents (79%) consider in-person networking an effective resource for their job search. They also ranked “networking as soon as possible” (17%) as the second most important piece of advice they would offer underclassmen – trailing behind “holding an internship” (31%) and tied with “planning ahead” (17%).
Get an internship: Internships provide an insider’s view and make you more marketable. Approximately 66% of students surveyed held at least one internship, and of these, 35% believe the opportunity prepared them for a full-time position and 23% believe it would make their job search easier. Additionally, 31% recommend to underclassmen that they hold an internship. If a full-time position is not secured by the time you don your gown and cap, summer internships can add more experience to your resume and can open the doors to a full-time position.
Make yourself stand out: Using non-traditional tactics to get attention from employers will help students distinguish themselves. 69% of respondents apply for jobs using paper resumes and cover letters yet less than 12% use portfolios. Only 26% of respondents have participated in a one-on-one job shadow with a professional in their field of interest. These tactics offer unique opportunities to stand out from the masses and develop long-term relationships with seasoned executives.
Tips for Employers

Target students’ top resources: Employers should communicate with candidates using resources students say are the most effective. Survey respondents identified these as the top four:
In-person networking (40%)
University career centers (37%)
Internships (37%)
Online job boards (27%)
Provide students with information they want: Recruiters should understand what motivates students to select certain jobs; choosing a job is no longer solely a financial decision. Survey results show today’s college students are looking for careers that offer long-term professional growth based on these top criteria:
A fit with their skills (73%)
Company reputation and ethics (70%)
Career advancement opportunities (70%)
Location (66%)
Professional development/training (66%)
Align jobs with students’ fields of interest: To make sure qualified candidates respond to your listing, align job descriptions with students’ interests. For example, technology companies listing finance positions may create more interest in the job by highlighting responsibilities associated with financial services. Key fields of interest, as cited by students, include:
Academia/education (8%)
Advertising/marketing (8%)
Communications/media/public relations (6%)
Financial services (6%)
Non-profit (6%)
Entertainment/arts (6%)


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