Job market conducive to new grads


The recently published annual list of the top entry-level employers for the 2009 graduation class should give hope to new grads.

The list, compiled by, represents about 158,000 entry-level positions for college students graduating this year and includes a very diverse list of careers. Verizon Wireless tops the list, planning to hire over 13,000 new graduates.

The careers in the list are found all around the country and even some are outside the country if you are looking to live abroad; the U.S. Department of State listed many opportunities to work in U.S. embassies in 150 different countries.

If you are not graduating this year and want to get ahead in the job market, also listed other available internships. Many of these internships turn into careers based on individual performance.

Steve Elder, an economics major and a 2009 graduate, said he already has a job lined up.

I just networked through people to get an internship and that just turned into a job,” Elder said of his new career at UPS, where he has been interning for the last year.

In spite of the economy, the number of entry-level jobs has only slightly decreased since last year, but has increased since the year before. There has been an 11.4 percent increase in entry-level hiring since 2007, according to

Still, getting your first job in any economy can be difficult. listed the biggest mistakes college graduates have been guilty of during an interview: acting bored or cocky; not dressing appropriately; coming to the interview with no knowledge of the company; not turning off cell phones or electronic devices; not asking good questions during the interview; asking what the pay is before the company considered them for a job; failure to remove unprofessional photos and content on social networking pages; and not sending a thank you note after an interview.

I would encourage graduating seniors to explore creative ways to search for jobs and make connections with potential employers,” said Paula Michael-Dass, a career counselor at Career Services. “In this economy, you need to find ways to make yourself stand out in the crowd in order to land an interview with prospective employers.”

There are many ways to do this. For starters, take advantage of the free resources that are provided at UNF. These include scheduling an appointment with Career Services to have your resume critiqued – 40 percent of resumes are rejected by employers due to errors, according to Career Services – practice interviewing and job search counseling.

Job searching can be made easy through Career Services’ online database Career Wings, where students can upload their resume, and in its Career Library. The Career Wings service can be found

The average starting salary of a college graduate has not changed significantly from the previous year. The average salary offer made to a 2009 bachelor’s degree graduate is $49,353. In 2008, it was $49,300, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

So there is good news, jobs are out there. Even in this recession-influenced job market, the companies listed on are looking for fresh, new minds to join their business.