By Kelley Atherton
"The Graduate" is a classic summer-time flick.
We watch a young Dustin Hoffman return home after his college graduation with no immediate plans for the future and in his boredom becomes entangled with his girlfriend's mother. Ah, young love.
Now Hoffman's generation, the baby boomers, are slowly starting to retire, leaving job openings.
This time of year, high school and colleges across the country are gearing up for graduation. Graduates gleefully throw their mortarboard into the air to celebrate their accomplishments and usher in the future.
The fact remains there will be a whole new slew of adults in the workforce and not a lot of jobs.
Many college graduates assume because they have that diploma in hand they're automatically guaranteed a jobnot so. However, the job market climate for grads is becoming more favorable.
A survey for CareerBuilder.com found that 58 percent of employers intend to hire 2008 graduates. Employers also anticipate hiring 8 percent more graduates than last year.
Salaries aren't looking too bad either. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 32 percent of employees will offer grads $30,000 to $40,000 a year. Fifteen percent will offer starting salaries of $40,000 to $50,000 and 11 percent said they'll offer more than $50,000 to start off.
The top-paying jobs for recent grads are in engineering and computer science. Chemical engineer majors will start off at $63,616 a year. However, most starting salary offers have grown at least 10 percent in the last year.
A major key to success is work experience. Most organizations are looking for candidates with any type of work experience. However, 47 percent prefer to see internships or cooperative education program experience on resumes.
CareerBuilder also suggests playing up experience. Even if the job ad states three years experience, many employers consider internships, part-time jobs, Greek organizations, volunteer and team sports as work experience.
Also, networking on the Internet is becoming more popular. Facebook, MySpace and other social networking Web sites can help recent grads make connections and get a job. You never know when someone you know has the inside track.
The downside to the tech-savvy Generation Y-ers entering the workforce: Unfortunately, these young workers walk into an interview with a negative connotation of themselves.
Interviewers find fault with inappropriate clothing, such as flip-flops, bored or cocky attitudes and not having any prior knowledge of the company. They do look favorably on people who have ideas, ask questions and genuinely seem interested in the job.
These young workers may find the job hunt a difficult pill to swallow when, after applying to dozens and dozens of jobs, they only get a few responses. Because the problem is there are more college graduates than ever.
There's no surefire trick to getting a job. As someone who has graduated from college, by-passed grad school and managed to find a job within a few months of graduating (not to boast), I think I know a little something.
Just put yourself out there, ask everyone you know who they know in your career field. Be aggressive. Don't just send out a hundred resumes and wait for a responsecall those companies (you might have to do this more than once and convince them you are the best applicant).