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May 10, 2014

Report shows hiring of 2014 grads up 8.6%

505 at SU get degrees today

SELINSGROVE — As the newest alumni of Susquehanna University walk across the stage today after receiving their degrees, and their counterparts at Bucknell University prepare to do the same in a week, the graduates face better job prospects than did the Class of 2013, a survey shows.

Companies plan to hire 8.6 percent more graduates from the Class of 2014 than they did from the Class of 2013, according to The National Association of Colleges and Employers’ annual Job Outlook survey.

Of the more than 1,000 employers queried, 48.4 percent said they are increasing their college hiring, while fewer than 30 percent plan to cut back.

But unemployment numbers for recent graduates still remain higher when compared with those of the general population, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Overall, the job market continues to show slow, positive growth and offer good opportunities to college graduates,” said Pam Keiser, executive director of Bucknell University’s Career Services.

“It’s important that students research industries and possible career paths, and also understand that a job search takes time and commitment.”

For new graduates, it’s important to network and put in the extra effort, Keiser said

“When applying for opportunities and interviewing with organizations, graduating seniors should focus on making connections, preparing well and following up in a timely fashion,” she said. “I cannot tell you how often Bucknell alumni mention that the difference between candidates may come down to writing a thank-you note or following up with a phone call. When everything else is even in comparing candidates for a job or internship, that extra effort can make a big difference in the impression an employer forms about a candidate.”

Employers are also looking for candidates who have effective communication and writing skills, Keiser said. Recent popular employers with Bucknell grads include PricewaterhouseCoopers, Teach For America, Clark Construction, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Ralph Lauren and the Peace Corps.

For additional practical skills for “Life After Bucknell,” Keiser said the university offers programs to help students prepare.

“Topics within this educational series held throughout our students’ senior year include business and dinner etiquette, networking, renting vs. buying, creating a budget, understanding benefits and making financial decisions,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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