For Many Employers, Student Recruiting Begins Before Graduation

By Chris Hassan
Posted January 18, 2013 11:00 AM

College seniors landing jobs as early as the fall.
College seniors landing jobs as early as the fall.

Going into their final year of college, seniors who want to begin their career as soon as they graduate understand the importance of beginning their job search early. However, as the job market improves, what some students consider early may actually be too late.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that many employers have begun recruiting as early as the fall, which, in turn, has pushed students to begin their job search as soon as they begin their final year of college. This trend is especially true at undergraduate business schools.

A Race to Find Top Talent

Soon-to-be bachelor's degree holders who are hoping to impress potential employers in the winter or spring of their senior year may be disappointed. According to Businessweek, recruiters from banks, consulting firms and Fortune 500 companies are hitting campuses as early as August and September. They are doing so in an effort to snatch up the brightest talent before other organizations get a chance to do so.

General Electric (GE) is one company that has had to revise its approach to hiring if it is to land the right talent. Today, the organization hires almost all of its full-time employees and 75% of its interns in the fall. In the past, GE's search for interns usually occurred in the spring.

"We do our internship hiring in the fall now because it is so darn competitive," Steve Canale, GE's manager of global recruiting and staffing services, told Businessweek. "Once one company started doing it, we had to do it, too, because the good students go quickly."

How Students Can Get an Early Start

While Emily Carr is still a senior business major at the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School, she has already accepted a job offer from Bank of America's treasury department, Businessweek reports. Carr began the school year well prepared, having worked on her resume over the summer so she could start interviewing for jobs in September.

If students wish to follow in Carr's footsteps, they should find ways to transform themselves into desirable job candidates. Dan Schawbel, the founder of research and consulting firm Millennial Branding, told Forbes that students should start by creating a LinkedIn profile, which can help them make connections before they even graduate.

Schawbel told Fox Business that a visit to the campus career center is also vital, as this could open the door to new relationships with professionals who could offer assistance in their job hunt, such as alumni.

"If you try to get help, the career services people will see that you're putting in effort and so they will be more likely to connect you with alumni for an informational interview," Schawbel told Fox Business.

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