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Job Market Looks Up for College Grads

Hiring of college graduates with bachelor's degrees will increase by 16 percent this year, according to a new report from Michigan State University.

The study from the university's College Employment Research Institute projects recruiting of new college grads in 2014-15 will be stronger than any year since 1999-2000.

This surge is welcome news for K-12 educators, counselors and parents who are encouraging students to pursue postsecondary education, but may have been concerned about the payoff after years of a weak job market for young adults.

The survey of nearly 5,700 employers, released Oct. 14, found that businesses will hire nearly 120,000 new graduates this year, of which 78 percent will have bachelor's degrees.

Students, however, still need to do all they can to get valuable experience in college and present a professional image in the application process.

"Although the college labor market tilts in the student's favor this year, employers are not lowering their expectations for new hires or supporting a workplace in which any warm body will do," according to the report.

Recruiters in the survey complained the new graduates often lack the experience, skills, and competency to work for their companies. Too often students have lackluster résumés, weak cover letters and job candidates display unrealistic expectations about starting salaries and job conditions, employers said.

"Such candidates may be diamonds in the rough, but employers want to see at least a modicum of polish," the report said.

A full report on recruiting trends from Michigan State will be released at the end of November.

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