Job prospects looking up for spring grads, says CU-Boulder Career Services director

Job postings and career fair visits by recruiters seeking to hire University of Colorado Boulder graduates in the spring are coming in fast this year, suggesting an improving job market for spring graduates, according to Lisa Severy, director of CU-Boulder's Career Services office.

"The fact that our career fair is completely sold out and our job postings are also way up tells me that the job market is picking up for this year's graduates," Severy said.

The most common major sought by companies looking to hire CU-Boulder graduates this spring is the "all majors" category.

"In other words, companies are looking for talented, educated and motivated leaders from any academic discipline or background," Severy said. "The companies recruiting our graduates represent a variety of industries and range from small to large organizations."

The spring career and internship fair for CU-Boulder students and alumni will be held Jan. 26-27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the University Memorial Center's Glenn Miller Ballroom and room 235. The fair is open only to CU-Boulder students and alumni.

Some of the companies attending the fair include Facebook, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Apple Inc., the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Peace Corps, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and Time Warner Cable.

Nationally, the job market for new graduates also shows signs of improving, according to the "Recruiting Trends 2010-2011" survey published by Michigan State University. The survey calls for hiring at the bachelor's degree level to increase by 10 percent this year.

"The new college graduate market tends to bounce back first because these candidates come at a lower price point and they don't have to be retrained like those who may be coming from a different company's culture," Severy said.

While the job market is showing some positive signs, Severy said students should not wait until the end of the school year to start their job searches.

"Students who will graduate this May should engage the job search process sooner rather than later," she said. "A career fair is a good place to start, because you get a chance to talk to recruiters face to face and make an impression. At the very least it is good practice for the interviewing process."

Companies often come to career fairs to find a pool of potential employees and screen them for campus interviews at a later date. Then, if they really like a candidate, they invite them out for an interview at the company location. While every conversation at a career fair does not lead to an interview, students who are job hunting should take advantage of the opportunity to get themselves in front of companies that are hiring.

"Meeting a company representative at a career fair, where they are there specifically to meet potential employees, is a good way to get a foot in the door," Severy said. "I tell every student I can that they should really take advantage of these opportunities, because these companies have a real interest in CU students."

For more information about the spring career and internship fair visit careerservices.colorado.edu/students/springFair.aspx.

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