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Class of 2010: Is Your Résumé Ready?

May 4, 2010

May 4, 2010: Spring is wrapping up and summer is almost upon us…so for many it is the beginning of a new chapter in life.  They don the cap and gown and step into the “real world” full of promise and expectation.  But if there’s one thing I’ve been thankful for during this economic downturn it’s that I’m not a recent or soon-to-be college graduate.  Finding a job in this economy, or hanging onto the one you’ve had for less than a year or so, has not proven to be kind to our youngest workforce – the Millennials. 

But it seems the shadow cast over these recent and soon-to-be graduates may be lifting.  According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) Job Outlook 2010 Spring Update,* there’s good news for the graduating class of 2010.  The report shows employers plan to hire 5.3 percent more new college graduates in 2009-2010 than they did in 2008-09.  While 5.3 percent isn’t as great as double-digit hiring, it’s certainly better than the numbers reported by NACE in 2008, when employers indicated they would be hiring almost 22 percent fewer graduates.    

I was able to see firsthand how hard it was for a 2008 graduate, we’ll call her Molly, to find work.  After graduating in May 2008, Molly received an offer to work for a company at their Paris office and was to start in September.  As the day for her to move drew closer, she received a call from the company letting her know her job no longer existed as the economy took a nosedive.  It wasn’t until December 2009 that she found another full-time opportunity, though this time in her hometown which is no Paris.  Molly babysat for me and others throughout 2009 as she looked for work and it was tough to watch her struggle with “great” interviews that went nowhere, unreturned calls and résumés that ended up in the great résumé black hole. 

So I’m happy to see that hiring is going to be up for the graduating class of 2010, though for those who live in the Southeast (as I do and where my company is headquartered) apparently we aren’t doing as well as the rest of the country.  According to the NACE report, the Southeast is the only region reporting a decrease in the hiring outlook – 10 percent.  Single-digit growth is certainly better than any negative drops, especially when those drops are in the double-digit range. 

In case you haven’t seen the NACE report, below are some other highlights:

  • Hiring is up in nearly all reporting industries.
  • By region, the Northeast has the best hiring outlook—a 25.5 percent increase is projected. The Southeast is the only region reporting a decrease (10 percent).
  • Nearly 80 percent of responding employers say their spring recruiting plans call for them to hire for full-time and/or internship positions.
  • Nearly 60 percent of respondents have plans to hire more or the same number of new college graduates in fall 2010 as they did in fall 2009. Last year at this time, just over one-third of respondents had those same plans. In fact, current plans are more in line with employer plans for fall 2008.

Are you looking to increase your college hiring this year or are you a recent graduate looking for work?  If so, please feel free to share your thoughts on college hiring trends for this year.   

*The survey was conducted March 1 through April 9, 2010, among NACE employer members; 177 employers, or 20 percent, participated.

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