By Brent Rasmussen
Chief Operating Officer, CareerBuilder.com
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(CareerBuilder.com) -- The graduating class of 2007 can expect increased job prospects and higher starting salaries than its predecessors.
Seventy-nine percent of hiring managers say they plan to recruit recent college graduates this year, up from 70 percent in 2006, according to CareerBuilder.com's "College Hiring 2007," survey. Nearly one-in-four hiring managers expect to hire more recent college graduates in 2007 compared to last year.
New grads can also expect higher salaries. Forty-two percent of hiring managers anticipate increasing starting salaries for recent college graduates in 2007 and only four percent plan to decrease them. Thirty-six percent of hiring managers expect to offer between $30,000 and $40,000 compared to 28 percent in 2006. An additional 16 percent will offer between $40,000 and $50,000 and 12 percent will offer more than $50,000.
Academia will also play a role in job prospects for new grads. One-third of the hiring managers surveyed said they require a 3.0 and above and one-in-ten requires a 3.5 and above.
The good news is, if you didn't make the grade, you still have the opportunity to sell yourself to an employer. Follow these tips to get noticed by hiring managers:
Do your research. As you've heard numerous times, it's important to know the nuts and bolts of the company, but you should also be familiar with the culture. Will your personality clash with others in the company or will your working styles match? These are things employers consider. In fact, 25 percent of hiring managers said that a recent college graduate who is a good fit with the company culture is the most influential factor in their hiring decision.
Don't take experiences for granted. Internships look great on a recent grad's résumé. But don't forget about all of the other things you did in college, too: Student government, volunteer work, involvement in the Greek system and team sports can all be applied as real world experience, which hiring managers regard highly. In fact, 21 percent of hiring managers cite experience as the most influential factor in their decision to hire a recent college graduate. Identify things like leadership or management and highlight these activities both in your résumé and your interview.
Do show enthusiasm. Contrary to popular belief, job interviews aren't a one-way street. Preparing your own questions not only shows the interviewer that you are interested enough to do your homework but also will give you an idea if the job is something you'd even like. If that isn't enough to sway you, consider this: 21 percent of hiring managers say that asking good questions and showing enthusiasm weighs heavily on their hiring decision for recent college graduates.
If you're looking for more information on your post-grad job search and interviewing, visit CBcampus.com, a job site tailor-made for college students and alumni. Equipped with special search capabilities, CBcampus.com provides instant access to jobs matching the student's major, experience level, skills and interests. The site also provides information on local career fairs and campus events, news on leading companies and industries, and advice for everything from building compelling résumés to moving ahead in the real world.
Brent Rasmussen is COO of CareerBuilder.com. He is an expert in recruitment trends and tactics, job seeker behavior and workplace issues.
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