I am glad I'm not about to graduate college next spring. It's really tough going out there, and jobs won't be easy to find.
Less than half of employers who hired new graduates last year are planning to hire again this spring. That's according to a story in today's Wall Street Journal, reporting on a survey of 4,600 companies by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University.
Despite the gloomy forecast, there are always companies hiring. Larger companies, the survey shows, are more likely to hire than mid-size businesses. The challenge for college seniors will be to find ways to stand out from the crowd.
For marketing and communications majors, employers look at more than grades. Yes, the GPA does count, but the typical job candidate will be up against many others whose grades are just as good. One way to stand out, though, is through leadership positions in extracurricular activities.
It might be too late now for a senior to be able to add leadership positions to his or her resume and he hasn't been active outside of class. But underclassmen, take notice and plan ahead.
For seniors, the internet can help make up for extracurricular shortfalls, or it can enhance an already strong all-around resume. If you don't now blog, consider starting one on a subject that relates to the career you're interested in. Read the ad and marketing trade publications and then offer your own views. I've seen some pretty good blogs done by students in PR and marketing at schools in Ohio, Georgia and elsewhere, where the profs encourage their students to write online.
A well-written, thoughtful blog can help show a potential empoloyer that you're smart, interested in your chosen field and can articulate your position on relevant issues. It could give you a bit of an edge over your classmates who are after the same jobs.