Employment Outlook

Here’s good news for the parents of this year’s college graduates: Your kids may get jobs after all! So we gather from a survey of 230-plus hiring managers, conducted in February for CareerBuilder.com. Seventy-one percent of those polled said they expect to hire new graduates this year, versus 65 percent in last year’s survey. And since economic-confidence indices were generally anemic in February, the poll may turn out to understate hiring activity this spring. How can new graduates make the best impression on potential employers? Relevant experience is the most appealing credential, mentioned by three in 10 of the survey’s respondents. Fourteen percent said they’re most influenced by the candidate’s performance during the interview; 10 percent said they’re moved by the applicant’s “level of enthusiasm” for the job. Few of the ’04 grads who do land jobs will get lavish salaries for their troubles (see chart). But something is better than nothing.