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Jobs Outlook Positive for 2016 Graduates

The National Association of Colleges and Employers’ 2016 Job Outlook Study reports that employers intend to boost spring hiring by 11%just in time for graduation.

The study was based on responses from large employers such as: Aetna, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Dell, DuPont, General Electric, and Procter & Gamble. Roughly two-thirds of responders were based in the Midwest and the Southeast.

The projected hiring activity is actually the highest since 2010, when 19.3% of respondents planned to up their spring hiring for the Class of 2011. It is also far more positive than 2012, when just 2.1% of respondents expected to increase hiring.

However, hiring won’t be consistent across the board: 46.7% forecast hiring growth, 40.1% predict the same level of hiring, and 13.2% actually predicting a decrease.

The strongest expected growth is reported by companies in IT and professional services with hiring increases projected between 72% and 37% respectively. In addition, accounting and finance are also expected to exceed 35%.

Even in a strong job market, new graduates need to take a strategic approach to applying for work, including:


  • Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight education, skills, and experience relevant to each position for which you apply.
  • Highlight your accomplishments by covering not only your work history but also internships, volunteer positions, and awards.
  • Conduct personal follow-up. Online applications should be followed with a telephone call.

By taking a thoughtful approach to possible opportunities, the employment future looks bright for graduates of the class of 2016.