Hottest job market in decade for college grads


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Congratulations, class of 2018 — you’ve hit the jackpot, graduating into the strongest job market in a decade, according to CareerBuilder. Around 80 percent of companies surveyed by the jobs site said they plan to hire college grads this year, up from 60 percent in 2008. Another plus for new grads? More than half of employers surveyed cite starting salaries of $40,000 or more.  

As for the most sought-after degrees or majors, business topped the rankings with more than a third of companies surveyed looking to hire grads with that major. Around 22 percent of companies are seeking candidates with a degree in engineering.

Technology and business savvy are skills that rank high on companies’ wish lists. Of the employers surveyed, 31 percent said they were looking to fill positions in information technology, while a quarter said they needed workers for customer service roles.

Even though the job market is hot — the U.S. unemployment rate dipped below 4 percent in April to 3.9 percent, the lowest in 17 years — 2018’s crop of new grads should still beware some job-killing interviewing mistakes.

More than a third of employers told CareerBuilder that most of the recent grads they’ve interviewed over the last year didn’t send a “thank you” note. About the same amount said most candidates didn’t know anything about the company interviewing them.

Yet another barrier for a job hunter is a social media profile that could damage prospects for being hired. More than 20 percent of employers said many candidates interviewed “had unprofessional pictures on their social media profiles,” according to the report.

“A big ‘do’ in this day and age is getting your online branding in order — make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and filled out; make sure your social media is cleaned up,” Jenni Maier, editor-in-chief at career site TheMuse told CBS MoneyWatch.

Maier said it’s likely the hiring manager or recruiter will do his or her own internet search, so you should complete a self-checkup of your own before sending those applications to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises.

Always email a “thank you” message immediately after a job interview — and sending a personal note via snail mail is a nice touch, too. It’s a way to reinforce your strength as a candidate, and an opportunity to express gratitude for the time your interviewer took out of his or her day to get to know you.

While you may be nervous about whether or not that first job is a good fit, Maier said it’s better to approach it with an open mind, and understand it may take time and even a few jobs to reach your long-term career goal.

“Keep in mind that your first job doesn’t have to be your dream job,” Maier said. “It’s really important to use it as a learning experience.” 

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.



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