Corporate Eye

What’s New: Graduates, Gadgetry, and An Edgy Approach


As the class of 2013 gets ready to matriculate, they can probably look forward to seeing quire a few 2009 graduates on campus.  In a 2009 Student Survey, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that fewer graduating students already had jobs than in previous years–and fewer were looking for jobs.  The study, conducted from February through April, surveyed more than 34,000 students (about half seniors) from over 800 colleges nationwide.

It turned out that less than 20% of the about-to-be grads who were looking for a job actually had one, compared with more than half of the 2007 set.  But the steep drop actually took place last year, when the percentage plummeted from half to 26%.

In terms of job-seeking:  64% were already on the hunt in early 2007, slightly more in 2008, and down a bit to 59% this year.  So not a terribly big change.  Similarly, not a huge shift in the percentage of students planning to attend graduate school rather than enter the job market.  The trend was upward, though, with 20% bound to grad school in 2007, 24% in 2008, and 26% this year.

According to the survey, most of the 2009 seniors were planning to look for a job . . .  So it will be interesting to see–when September numbers come out for unemployment and graduate enrollment–how they fared.

Meanwhile, a lot of companies and recruiters are receiving a lot of resumes.  For those who either don’t have a dedicated Applicant Tracking System, don’t like the one they have, or just can’t resist a gadget, Hireability has come up with a product that will turn the Outlook Inbox into an ATS.  Step right up, folks!  The handy-dandy ALEX Desktop will parse a resume, create a Contact, paste the resume content into the Contact notes, and make the whole thing searchable.  For now it’s free, so why not take it for a spin?

On a completely different topic–I came across the website for a company called Talent Revolution, which styles itself as “a drastic change in thinking and behaving with talent.”  They clearly want to establish themselves as different, starting with the look of the site (a definite urban flavor, with graffiti, bricks, and black leather) and the tone of the content (lots of superlatives, challenges, and pronouncements).

I left the TR site with two somewhat contradictory reactions.  1.  It’s nice to see something different.  Now that I think about it, most corporate Career sites and most of the recruiting blogs take a middle-of-the-road, nothing-to-offend approach, both visually and verbally.  2.  It’s not nice to be baffled.  The TR site was so fragmented I couldn’t figure out the navigation (seriously), and even after reading quite a bit of the content, I wasn’t sure what the company actually does or what message they are trying to deliver.

My own takeaway:  Edgy has appeal–but when you invite people into less-familiar territory, it’s important to give them a good map, well drawn.

(Thanks to woodleywonderworks for the amazing Cosmic Soap Bubbles.  Not sure how the picture fits the post, but I just liked it a lot!)

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.

I don’t believe the situation for graduates is anywhere near as bad as the media would have us believe. Nor do I believe that the majority of employers are so lofty as to demand a 2:1 at the minimum.

My sister graduated with a 2:2 in a subject looked down on by academia. And she was told to give up on the idea of graduate careers, that she’d wasted three years of her life. Good thing she didn’t listen, seeing as she found a graduate position that she loved within a few months.

Patience and determination still pay off. So does ignoring the media.

Well you’ve got some pretty comprehensive statistics there! I’d be interested to see how stats from this year would compare.
I definitely agree that scaremongering in the media does not help graduates. A lack of confidence or drive will be a huge hindrance in finding your dream graduate job so instead graduates should stay pro-active, do their research, take the advice of graduate recruiters and be patient!

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