Dear Matt: I'm about to graduate from college. What's the outlook for this year's spring grads?
Matt says: The hiring of new grads is expected to increase by nearly 10 percent in 2015 compared to 2014, according to data from the National Association of Colleges & Employers. Outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., called spring 2015 the best college grad job market in the postrecession era. Roughly 10,000 baby boomers are retiring each day — and about 2.7 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs each month.
"In addition to an improving economy, we are beginning to see a rising number of retirements, which is creating more room for upward advancement, and, in turn, creating opportunities for entry-level candidates," said CEO John A. Challenger.
In the Twin Cities, grads who majored in accounting, business administration or computer science are seeing the most opportunities, says Jim Kwapick, district president of Robert Half in Minneapolis. Kwapick named the top five job search dilemmas facing new college grads — and how to solve them:
1. Lack of experience. Internships, volunteer assignments or temporary work are a way to gain experience and build skills. Emphasize them on your résumé and in interviews.
2. Limited professional network. Start by attending industry association events or using professional networking websites. Contact your campus career center to connect with alumni.
3. Lower than expected salary. Research starting salaries with resources like the Robert Half Salary Guide (roberthalf.com/salary-guides). If you think the offer is too low, try to negotiate a higher rate, but if the position has advancement potential or will be a great résumé builder, consider taking the lower salary or negotiating other non-monetary perks.
4. Not landing your dream job title. The jobs you're getting offered may not even match your major or degree, but consider the transferrable skills these jobs might build and how they may eventually help lead you to your dream job.
5. Questionable digital footprint. Employers are searching the Web for information about job seekers, making it crucial for applicants to actively monitor and maintain their professional reputations online.
Graduates cannot expect to hand out a few résumés at job fairs or reply to some online postings and simply wait for a phone call or e-mail, said Challenger. "One of the most important elements of a successful job search is networking and meeting face-to-face with people who can help advance the job search," he said. "Parents, professors, former internship supervisors and even college and former high school classmates can be valuable sources when it comes to building and expanding one's network."
Contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.