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Employers Plan to Hire More Recent College Graduates in 2011, Finds CareerBuilder's Annual Forecast
added: 2011-04-29

CareerBuilder's annual college job forecast finds that employers are gradually hiring more recent college graduates this year. Forty-six percent of employers said they plan to hire recent college graduates in 2011, up from 44 percent in 2010 and 43 percent in 2009. Of those who plan to hire recent college graduates, 26 percent reported they will offer higher starting salaries than they did in 2010, an improvement from 16 percent who said the same in last year's survey and 11 percent in 2009. The survey was conducted online from February 21 to March 10, 2011 by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder, among more than 2,800 hiring managers and human resource professionals.

Thirty-one percent of employers plan to offer recent college graduates starting salaries ranging between $30,000 and $40,000. An additional 21 percent will offer between $40,000 and $50,000, and 24 percent will offer $50,000 or more. Twenty-four percent will offer less than $30,000.

"Employers are more optimistic overall, and as a result, are looking to bring in entry-level workers to build their workforce for the future," said Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America. "Companies are adding jobs in a variety of areas and need fresh, educated talent to fill those roles. Our survey found that they will recruit college grads primarily for IT, customer service, sales, finance, accounting and marketing jobs this year."

In addition to specific areas that employers will be recruiting college graduates for, they shared the overall skill sets they are looking for from new grads, including:

- Strong written and verbal communications – 69 percent

- Technical skills – 57 percent

- Project management – 44 percent

- Research – 30 percent

- Math – 31 percent

- Knowledge of using mobile applications and technologies – 21 percent

- Public speaking – 20 percent

- Basic accounting skills – 21 percent

- Adept at using social media – 16 percent

- Bilingual – 15 percent

The survey also revealed that while work experience is one of the most influential factors in their decision to hire recent college graduates, employers reported that other activities qualify as relevant experience:

- Internships – 68 percent

- Part-time jobs in another area or field – 51 percent

- Volunteer work – 41 percent

- Class work – 34 percent

- Involvement in school organizations – 33 percent

- Involvement in managing activities for sororities and fraternities – 20 percent

- Participation in sports – 12 percent

When new college graduates are applying and interviewing for jobs, they should be mindful of their overall demeanor and behavior. When asked to identify the biggest mistakes that recent college graduates made during the application and interview process, employers said coming to the interview with no knowledge of the company (58 percent), acting entitled (54 percent), dressing inappropriately (52 percent), not asking good questions during the interview (50 percent), not turning off their cell phone before the interview (44 percent) and acting bored (42 percent).

Rasmussen offers the following tips for recent college graduates searching for jobs:

Do your homework: Just like you did for classes in college, it's important to be knowledgeable about the company before applying and interviewing. Spend time researching organizations ahead of time by checking out their web sites, press room and other articles that might be written about them. Coming to the interview prepared is a great way to impress a hiring manager.

Stay upbeat: Even though the job market is gradually improving, it is still a highly competitive job environment, and your job search may take longer than expected. Stay positive and make sure you show that enthusiasm during your search. Check out a variety of opportunities on

Show your personality: While it's essential to always remain professional and on your toes, be sure to show your individuality. Craft your cover letter to highlight your personality and relax enough in the interview to show some of your best traits. Hiring managers want employees who are a good fit with company culture, and showcasing your personality is a great way to demonstrate how you will fit in with an organization.

Think outside your career box: Consider taking a job outside of your desired field if it will help you gain experience and learn new skills. Plus, you may discover that what you originally planned wasn't as good of a fit as a different path.

Utilize social media: Use your social media skill set to help supplement your job search. Promote your personal brand, skills and strengths on different social networking sites like Facebook, so you can reach the widest and most diverse audience of networking contacts and potential employers. Showcase your social media profiles on your resume, cover letter and other communications for continuity.

Source: PR Newswire

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