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Corporate recruitment down from last year

By Lydia Hallay
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday Feb 1, 2002

Graduates can still find jobs, but selection is significantly thinner

Corporate recruitment at UA is down substantially since this time last year, says Career Services.

Nearly one-third of companies have said they will hire fewer college graduates this year than originally planned.

This makes an already shallow job market even more difficult for new graduates to enter. A study last year found that 20 percent fewer jobs would be offered to newly-minted college graduates in 2002 than in 2001.

Susan Miller, marketing and special events coordinator at Career Services, said only 50 percent of the companies that signed up to recruit university students last year signed up again this year.

"Companies are hiring fewer positions than they have in the past," Miller said. "Finding a job is definitely more of a challenge for students that are graduating this year."

While finding a job is more difficult in the struggling economy, Vern Johnson, associate dean of the College of Engineering and Mines, said there are still jobs for graduates - they are just harder to find.

He said companies typically hire a lot of people from many different disciplines

An employee's ability to complete a job, he said, is as important as the skills that brought them there.

"Companies will hire a student based on their skills, and then advance them based on their performance," Johnson said.

Intel, one of the more than 50 companies that recruits at the University of Arizona, advertises for candidates with good communication, persuasive, problem solving and customer service skills and people who can easily adapt to change.

Johnson said employers also seek leadership and judgment skills, the ability to work well in groups and good analytical skills.

Miller said there are several extra things students can do to make themselves more appealing to employers, including participating in extra-curricular activities like clubs, associations and volunteer work.

She also suggested doing research on companies before interviewing with them.

Most importantly, she said, students should have confidence in themselves.

"Figure out what exactly it is that you want and go after it," Miller said.

Career Services provides students and graduates with services like career counseling, workshops on resumÄ writing and campus interviewing.

Miller said the reality is that many employers are looking for students with a degree in any major, and that liberal arts students should not assume that marketing their degrees would be more difficult than if they had a business degree.

"One of the most important things employers are looking for is the ability to communicate, both verbally and in writing," she said.

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