Who’s Hiring College Students?

by on October 3rd, 2012

The folks at HigherNext.com recently posted a piece on the state of the job market for undergraduates. It offers sobering advice for how job seekers ought to approach the current market.

We’ve re-posted the full article below and would love to hear from you after you’ve read through it. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

Who’s Hiring College Students?

Posted by Guy Friedman

This May, there will be about 1.7 million college students graduating from school and seeking entry-level employment. In addition, they will be competing with graduates from the past years who have yet to land a college-required entry-level job (about 50% of recent grads). This makes your job search strategy more important than ever.  So the question is, who’s hiring college students?

Now many folks in your life will give you conflicting advice: “Don’t settle for less than Goldman Sachs” and/or “Apply everywhere!” Here is where you should put on your blinders and take a more realistic view of what is possible and what is probable.

Here’s where you, the college student, WANT to work:

  1. Google
  2. Apple
  3. Walt Disney Company
  4. Ernst & Young
  5. Deloitte
  6. J.P. Morgan
  7. Nike
  8. PwC
  9. Goldman Sachs
  10. KPMG LLP

And here is where you’ll end up:

  1. Enterprise Rent-A-Car (8,500 annual entry-level hires)
  2. Teach for America (4,925)
  3. Verizon Wireless (4.250)
  4. Hertz (4,000)
  5. PwC (3,938)
  6. KPMG LLP (2,300)
  7. Target (2,200)
  8. Ernst & Young (2,000)
  9. City Year (1,700)
  10. Aerotek (900)

Just like the college admissions process, you need to do a deep dive into your qualifications, and pick and choose your options wisely. Realizing that you are probably going to apply to many jobs that come your way, when I say “choose your options” I mean going for it with the EXTRA effort of networking while in college, utilizing resume builders and writing a strong cover letter – above and beyond the standard application submission. You cannot realistically do this for every job, just as you can’t apply to a 100 colleges while in high school.

Pick reach companies you would kill to work for, and pick probable companies you know you have a good chance of landing a gig at. If they overlap, awesome (here’s looking at you, accounting majors). You don’t want to be spending your resources pursuing “dream jobs” when it’s not realistic, nor do you want to shut the door entirely on the whole process – be selective and strategic.

Good luck!

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