Career Spotlight: Grads' earnest job hunts pay off
Things may seem a little scary right now for the majority of the college class of 2005. An estimated 55 percent of them don't have jobs lined up yet, and the latest job-creation numbers, issued Friday, were anemic.
The grim statistics have forced students to scrounge for jobs harder and earlier than ever. A Yahoo! HotJobs survey found that 37.4 percent of the class of 2005 began their job search before graduation, more than double the rate of last year.
But here's the good news: Those more-intense job searches look as if they'll pay off. Recruiters say this year's college seniors are more realistic and organized than in previous years. That's one reason employers are hiring 13 percent more new graduates this year than last, according to a National Association of Colleges and Employers survey. And although pay continues to fall for techies, others are seeing improvements in starting salaries. This year's newly hired liberal arts grads reported getting $30,337, up 4.2 percent from last year.
The result at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, one of the nation's biggest hirers of new grads, is typical. Enterprise will hire 7,000 management trainees this year, up 8 percent from last year. The competition for those jobs is tough, with around 200,000 applicants. But for the first time in recent memory, the majority of those who have been getting offers have at least one competing bid, says Marie Artim, assistant vice president for recruiting.
Her advice to unemployed new graduates: "It is never too late to look at an internship." That way, you still are getting some real-world experience to pump up that resume. And don't despair. Even during the depths of the last recession, three quarters of June graduates had found jobs by December. And most of the rest had made plans for graduate school.