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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New College Grads Find Job Market Tough

To no one’s surprise, this year’s college graduates are finding the job market very tough. More than 300 recent graduates were surveyed by Right Management about their job hunting and career plans. Despite the humbling outlook, many of the graduates proved to be optimistic. Thirty-eight percent expect to find they job they want within six months, while 15% think it may take up to a year, and 9% a year or more. But 16% anticipate landing the desired job in a month or less.

No one can ever say this year’s college grads are complacent. They are facing a sluggish economy and a difficult job market, but the ones we’ve met seemed very determined and will do the hard work they need to get the kind of work they really want. Employers will find these grads eager to learn and get the job done.

The survey was deployed during complimentary job search planning workshops we conducted with 365 college graduates across 42 North American cities between May and July.

Three out of four (76%) graduates believe it very possible or somewhat possible for them to find the job they want, down from 91% in the same survey a year ago. Twenty-two percent think it is not very possible or not possible at all, and 2% said they don’t know.

Many of the graduates seem to be employed at least part-time or not in positions of their choosing. Consequently, only 8% are able to work full-time on their job hunt, while 42% reported that they are spending as much time as possible. In particular, parents have been helping graduates by far the most, followed respectively by relatives, classmates and the college office. Once again proving how networking is the best approach for sourcing new career opportunities.

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