Students in the class of 2007 may have an advantage when it comes to finding jobs after graduation.

Employers plan to hire 17 percent more college graduates than in 2006, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

One reason employers hire more students fresh out of college is because graduates bring energy and enthusiasm into businesses, according to CollegeGrad.com, the number one entry level job site on the Internet.

Theoretically, it is easier to find jobs now because of the Internet, Brian Pickerill, the assistant director of academic assessment and coordinator of assessment technology at Ball State University in Indiana, said.

At Ball State University, an alumni survey is sent to graduates two years after they leave Ball State. The 2004 Alumni Survey of 2001-2002 graduates had a 30 percent response rate.

More women responded to the survey than men, as did Caucasians and graduates with high GPAs .

The survey indicated that 81 percent of graduates were employed full-time, and more than 78 percent of people were employed in a field within their major or one related to it.

Of the students who were employed full-time, 70 percent found jobs either before they graduated from Ball State or within three months of receiving their degrees.

Ball State’s Career Center offers services that help students search for and obtain jobs after graduation, such as help with writing resumes and hosting career fairs and etiquette dinners.

Graduating students need to prepare resumes and cover letters, as well as attend sessions to improve interviewing skills and to begin networking, Joe Goodwin, the assistant director of the Career Center, said.

“Even if you are not immediately ready to get a job, it’s a good idea to look and get ready,” said senior Adrienne Rines.

She added: “I’ve had several internships, I’ve networked as much as possible, I’ve kept my grades up and I’ve tried to get involved with as many activities as possible.”

Rines, an interpersonal communications major, said she encourages students to have good relationships with their professors and employers and to stay in touch with them for future references.

“We strongly recommend that students network,” Goodwin said. “People need to be making personal and professional contacts.”

Students also need to take a proactive approach toward finding a job, Goodwin said, and Rines agrees.

“Don’t expect to post your resumes online and get an offer,” Rines said.

She added: “Use the connections you already have. That’s the most promising way to get a job.”

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