The downturn has hit recruiting at small schools harder than at some of their better-known counterparts. Christy Hanson, director of career development at Messiah College, which has an enrollment of roughly 2,700 students, says that firms have had to trim colleges from their recruiting lists amid budget cutbacks. Among the first to be cut from the list are smaller institutions like Messiah. With less exposure to corporate recruiters on campus, students at small schools need to be diligent in their job-search efforts. "The message that we're trying to give to our students is that there's hope out there, but you really need to think smart and strategically about how you're building your own brand and distinguishing yourself against other candidates," Hanson says.
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