The National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that businesses are planning to hire new college graduates, but they are proceeding with caution.
Kelly Rivard is graduating from North Central College with a job as the social media coordinator for AdFarm, an advertising agency for companies in the agricultural industry.
“The thing that really set me apart was the fact that I did have this unique combination of digital communications and agriculture. Those don’t blend very often,” said Rivard, an interactive media studies major.
The job market is better than it has been in the past 4 years, but it’s still not back to pre-recession levels.
Jeff Denard, the Director of Career Development at North Central College stresses that students need to stand out.
“Come in with experience. That means they need to have been involved in an internship if they haven’t had a job in that field. They might need to do something just to get their foot in the door,” said Denard.
The National Association of College and Employers projected a 9.5 percent increase in new hires for recent graduates. But the job market is still very competitive.
“There are still a lot of people looking for work. I think there are a lot of different people entering the job market, so that competition hasn’t really changed. So even though there might be different openings coming up in many areas, I don’t think somebody should relax or let their guard down and feel that it’s more likely that they’re going to get a job,” said Denard.
Aasonn is a global systems and technology services consulting firm based out of Naperville. CEO Allen Peterson says the company is expanding, but he is also seeing that strong competition.
“We have a Social Media and Marketing Coordinator position we posted two days ago. And within the first few hours of that posting, which is an entry level job by the way, we had over 50 applications and those applications are continuing to come in,” said Peterson.
Within the next 6 to 8 months, Aasonn is looking to hire 22 new people for their sales department. 60 percent of those jobs will be entry level, and Aasonn is looking at recent college graduates.
“When you start looking at the more senior people out there, you know, they are not as system savvy as the new college grad,” said Doty Sinclair, the Vice President of Professional Services at Aasonn. “So we’ve got a really great group of people to choose from now with how tech savvy they are.”
But plenty of students still search for jobs.
“I don’t have any plans at the moment. Not for lack of trying. I’ve been applying everywhere, everywhere and anywhere,” said Erin Turnquist, a Sociology and Anthropology major at North Central College.
“I’ve actually had a couple of job interviews,” said Cassandra Schneider who is studying Chemistry. “I’m waiting to hear back this week actually. I sent my resume into the Museum of Science and Industry, so right now I’m just playing the waiting game.”
“I’m still searching for a job,” said Becky Wagoner, a Sociology major. “I’m working with a professor to kind of make the best possible resume and cover letter.”
But for one student, the job search is over. After graduation, Rivard will pack her belongings and move to AdFarm’s Kansas Office.
“It’s a little surreal to be finishing college and stepping into my dream job,” said Rivard.
For more information on the National Association of Colleges and Employers visit naceweb.org.
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