Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

2010 grads to experience slowly improving job market


After graduation, the class of 2010 will find a job market that has improved slightly over 2009 numbers.

According to the National Association of Colleges & Employers’ 2010 Student Survey, 24.4 percent of 2010 graduates who applied for a job actually have one waiting for them after graduation. In comparison, just 19.7 percent of 2009 graduates who applied for a job had one at this time last year.

Mary Michael Hawkins, director of the University of Denver Career Center, also has seen a slight increase in the number of employers recruiting on campus and in the number of requests and online job postings by employers.

“Things are still slow, and we’re not being bombarded by employers like years past, but it’s getting better,” Hawkins says.

She says stable or growing career fields include sales, elementary and special education, health care, government and administrative positions.

Hawkins recommends students spend summers doing internships, research or gaining relevant experiences to make them more marketable.

“Employers are now looking for a minimum of at least two internships,” she says.

Hawkins says students are taking about six months to find a job, and students should begin their job search early in their senior year.

Nick Pruett, a senior finance major from Steamboat Springs, Colo., took her advice and began job hunting in September with a visit to the Career Center.

“I met with Mary Michael and we went over my resume and discussed the general ideas I had about what I wanted to do,” Pruett says.

Hawkins put Pruett in touch with several DU alumni who work in finance in the Denver area, and Pruett conducted several informational interviews.

“They helped me figure out what type of jobs I wanted to look for and the companies I was interested in. From there I started watching job postings and applying,” Pruett says.

After several interviews during winter quarter, Pruett received a job offer just before spring break.  He will start his position as an underwriting trainee with CNA Financial on June 14.

“Nick had done internships, he networked, he went to events, and he did what he needed to do,” Hawkins says.

Job seekers need to be assertive and employ different resources to find a job, not just look online for postings, she says. They need to network, conduct informational interviews, attend association events, and participate in social networks like LinkedIn.

Pruett feels it is important for job seekers to make sure a job is a good fit and is something they are interested in doing.

“If you don’t have a good idea of what you want to do, applying is just a waste of time,” says Pruett. “Unless you can express to the company that you really want the job, you’re wasting everyone’s time.”

Hawkins agrees.

“Job seekers need to look at a position with a critical eye. Can you conceivably do the job for at least a couple of years? Do some research on the job and the employer,” she says. “Taking a job out of desperation is not always the best thing to do.”

With hard work, students can find good positions.

“You need to be ready to dig your heels in and put a lot of time and effort into your job search,” Hawkins says. “If you are persistent, patient, creative, and not afraid to talk to people, you will be successful.”


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