KU News Release

Feb. 7, 2011
Contact: Mike Krings, University Relations, 785-864-8860

Job prospects on the rise for KU students; recruitment up on campus

More Information

LAWRENCE — For the past few years, college graduates have been hearing that no jobs will be available when they finish school. The good news: There is evidence the trend is turning around.

The University Career Center at the University of Kansas is expecting more than 80 companies to be represented at its Feb. 9 career fair, an increase from the approximately 70 represented last year.

“Most of the employers I’ve had regular contact with feel good about their hiring prospects. I’ve got an overall sense of positivity from them,” said Megan Hill, associate director of the University Career Center.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers is reporting that its surveys show employers across the country expect to make more hires this year than last.

Employers and recruiters will be on campus this spring meeting students and screening potential employees. National organizations such as the Mayo Clinic are slated to recruit on campus. National and regional employers such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Aldi Inc., Verizon Wireless, U.S. Department of State, John Hancock Financial Network, DISH Network, Eli Lilly and Co. and Westar Energy are all slated to have representation at the career fair.

David Gaston, assistant vice provost for Student Success, said he has also seen signs that the job market is improving. Earning reports for the last quarter are improving in many sectors, and representatives the university has worked with — many of whom were laid off in recent years — are starting to be rehired.

“Companies are starting to add HR (human resources) people back on,” Gaston said. “Hopefully that means the hiring will start to pick up again. It’s slow going, but things are on the uptick.”

Of course, the number of available jobs is irrelevant if candidates are not prepared. The University Career Center works with students throughout the year to help them prepare resumes, practice job interviews and even prepare for attending career fairs.

Attending a career fair or a job interview can be intimidating, but the experience can pay off, Hill said. The more times an employer meets or hears from a student, the better the employer is able to picture him or her in the organization. Those who have honed the skills of selling their positive traits, know how to dress the part and have a good resume will have an advantage. Gaston agreed, saying students have other advantages. Those entering the job market, especially those who have completed internships, are often favorable employees because they don’t cost as much and are easier to train than candidates with years of experience in another organization, who often have to be “retrained.”

“All employers want to know you can be successful in their environment. i.e, did you do an internship, or two or three?” Gaston said. “I’ve always said, ‘If somebody wants a job and may be willing to move for it, and maybe not take their plan A job right away, there will be opportunities.’ ”

For more on the Feb. 9 career fair, a list of employers that will be attending and services such as resume review and job postings, visit the University Career Center website.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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