Updated 04/11/2012 04:44 PM
Job outlook for 2012 grads competitive, but optimistic
New college grads will soon be updating their resumes and looking to land their first full-time job in the coming months. According to a new study, graduates might find more jobs available, but there's a catch. Our Amanda Kelley explains.
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UNITED STATES -- After years of studying to get a college degree, the hard work is far from over. Graduates continue to struggle to find work in their fields of study. But according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, things might be turning around for the class of 2012.
Jefferson Community College Director of Career Planning and Job Placement Michele Gefell said, "They're hiring about ten percent more college graduates than they have in the past, but there's great competition for those jobs. So these graduates are looking to see how they can beat the competition."
With more jobs but more competition, experts say it's important to stand out to potential employers. It all starts with the resume.
The WorkPlace Executive Director Cheryl Mayforth said, "To stand out for an employer, the recent college graduate really needs to have a good targeted resume that points out their hard skills, how they would fit into that position."
Gefell said, "You want to use action verbs. You want to use words that are really going to show punch. But not just give information, show action in terms of what can I offer that employer. How can I offer it in a way that's pleasing, satisfying and in a way that's a match for that employer."
But for many students just leaving college, marketing their degree might be the hardest part in landing that first job.
Mayforth said, "We graduate a lot of college students with what we call non-marketable degrees. These are degrees that do not have actual job titles attached to it and that makes it difficult."
For grads with these types of degrees, clearly defining your hard skill set can help set you apart. Including any work experience, internships or job shadows is also key, while avoiding sending out cookie cutter applications.
Mayforth said, "Employers are looking for someone who can come in and hit the ground running and so if they target their resume and look at the job description and constantly change their resume to meet the position in which they are applying for, they're going to have better luck"
For every job opening, it's estimated that more than 30 people will apply. And with competition that tough, even the smallest detail can make all of the difference.
Advisors also recommend that graduates prepare for interviews by researching the company they are seeking employment with. They say going into an interview prepared and dressed appropriately can make a big difference when you're trying to stand out to employers.