Alarge increase in companies and organizations hiring college graduates is helping Cedarville University seniors and other graduates across the nation find jobs.
According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), hiring in 2012 is expected to climb to 10.2 percent, which is above the previous estimate of 9.5 percent.
Another study done by Phil Gardner, the director of research at the Collegiate Employment Research Institute, revealed that of 3,231 employers surveyed, 42 percent said they had definite plans to hire college graduates.
The results of the NACE survey showed that demand is highest for business, engineering and computer science majors.
Aron Flaming, a Cedarville mechanical engineering major, got his dream job at a career fair that was held at Cedarville earlier this year. Before the fair he sent his resume in, so the personnel who had been sent to represent their respective companies could view it.
“I went to the fair with the idea that I would be exploring what options were available to me,” Flaming said. “I had no idea I would walk away with a job.”
One of the companies represented at the fair was Cummins, which is a global leader in designing and manufacturing service engines and other technologies such as fuel systems and electrical power generation systems.
Flaming had an interview with the representative and received a call later that day saying that the company was offering him a job.
“It was a fast process, but I landed a job in the exact field I wanted to be in,” Flaming said. It was always his desire to work with both titanium and cars, and he will have the opportunity to do just that by designing turbo chargers.
Students from majors outside of engineering and business are also finding prospects available for them to pursue.
Chris Flynn, a psychology major, has a promising opportunity at Reynolds and Reynolds, a company that works to provide web solutions, consulting and documents to help auto dealers drive profitability.
“I found out about the job through Cedarville’s career site Jobs4Jackets,” Flynn said.
He submitted an application and was sent a request to take an aptitude test, which was followed by four interviews with various personnel from the company.
“The people there have been fantastic to work with throughout this long interview process,” Flynn said. He has not officially been offered the position but is hopeful that he will receive an offer from them soon. Through his experience, Flynn has learned a variety of important lessons about job hunting. One of them is that you have to send in many applications.
“You have to apply to a ton of places in order to get anything back,” Flynn said. He sent in a total of 20 before getting pursued by Reynolds and Reynolds.
Another aspect Flynn feels that graduates should keep in mind is that they may have to take a job that does not line up perfectly with what they want to do.
“Where I am currently pursuing is not exactly what I was looking for, but it’s pretty close as it is still in human services,” Flynn said.
He had originally wanted a counselor or human resources position, and the job at Reynolds and Reynolds does not fall directly into either one of those categories. If he does get the job, Flynn will work to present Reynolds’ solutions as viable options to potential customers and will drive to close sales.
Many students about to graduate from colleges around the nation are also finding opportunities within the current job market.
Yahoo! Finance ran a story earlier this month that profiled Sean Chua, a 21-year-old justice major about to graduate from American University. Chua’s brother graduated in 2008 and struggled to find a job. Observing the process his brother went through made Chua worry about how his own job search would go.
Chua would soon realize he had nothing to worry about. After sending out only seven resumes, he received an offer from IBM to be an information technology consultant. He accepted the job and is excited to start there when he graduates.
However, competition for the available jobs is steep, and employers are reporting that they are receiving around 33 applications for every job posting. This is up from last year when only 21 applications were received per posting.
Gardner feels that there is a specific set of skills candidates must clearly show on the resume to remain under consideration for a job opportunity.
“Companies need cross-disciplinary people who are T-shaped; no matter what your degree is, you need to be computer system-literate and able to communicate effectively,” Gardner said.
Andrea Koncz, employment information manager for the NACE, agrees with Gardner but adds that “soft skills” and workplace aptitudes are essential. These aptitudes include leadership ability and the ability to work in a team.
“One of the best ways to demonstrate leadership skills is by describing successes in extracurricular activities or industry-related organizations,” Koncz said.
Despite the levels of competition, there are many resources that students about to graduate can utilize to help them find a job.
One of the greatest resources students can turn to for help is the career services office. At the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the career services office has seen a 7.4 percent increase in the number of interviews they are helping students get with potential employers.
Along with this, career fairs hosted by college campuses across the U.S. are proving to be a huge draw for companies eager to hire college graduates. The University of Florida held a fair in which attendance was up by 15 percent, forcing them to have to use both the first and second floors of the basketball facility for interviews for the first time in a number of years.
The University of California-Los Angeles has also seen an increase in both the number of interviews their career services office is generating and companies attending their career fairs.
“The economy is better, and the college recruitment market is improving,” said Kathy Sims, director of career services at UCLA.