🎓 New research indicates an active hiring market for 2024 graduates

🎓 More employers plan to hire entry-level professionals, Robert Half says

🎓 Most positions are in the financial sector

Whether you or someone you know is graduating high school or college in just a couple of months, there’s some good news on the job front. They can expect an active hiring market.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there are 8.9 million job openings so grads need to be prepared for their first job. In addition, a study by business consulting firm, Robert Half finds that 65% of employers say they plan to hire entry-level professionals, said Regional Director, Dora Onyschak.


Common Positions

The most common positions that are available for entry-level positions or recent graduates are mainly financial roles. Onyschak said there are entry-level jobs for financial reporting accountants, business or financial analysts, auditors, marketing coordinators, junior paralegals, staff accountants, human resources assistants, help desk support professionals, and more.

Account manager resume. Blue tint.
Anatoly Vartanov, Getty Stock / ThinkStock

Why are companies looking to hire entry-level professionals?

“It’s a very competitive hiring market for organizations so when you hire an entry-level professional, you really get a lot that is added to your organization. So, that includes many of these recent grads are tech-savvy and possess skills that are the most up-to-date technical skills that can help an organization not just innovate and grow, but think differently how they’re using their tools,” Onyschak said.

Also, grads bring a new dynamic and new energy to the team and a unique perspective to their future employers.

If companies can invest properly in that recent grad hire, it can provide some long-term growth for the organization, as well as great tenure, Onyschak added.

Smiling asian businesswoman handshaking businessman hiring or signing contract

Interview Tips

Onyschak provided some key interview tips not just for entry-level professionals, but for everyone.

First, do your research. Look the company up, and know what they do in general. You don’t need to be an expert on the company but you should know some key facts about the organization. She said that will set you apart from the other competitors.

Come prepared with good interview questions. “Every organization wants someone who is curious, who demonstrates a true interest in not just the position, but in the organization. You don’t need to come prepared with 10 questions, but I would say two to four questions is a good barometer,” Onyschak said.

Showcase soft skills. Communication, interpersonal skills, and smiling during the interview are all key. If someone makes a joke, feel free to laugh. That’s okay.

Have responses for the hard-hitting questions. Be prepared for direct questions, such as salary expectations. Practice doing mock interviews with a friend, mentor, or staffing professional, she said.

Drew Angerer
Drew Angerer

Common Entry-Level Professional Mistakes

Undervaluing yourself is the biggest mistake entry-level professionals make, Onyschak said.

“So make sure that you do your research in regards to salary or hourly pay rate based on your field of study. Take a look at that as an entry-level person coming into the market versus someone who is more tenured,” she said. Know what the range is because there is never just one number. Be aware and conscious of that.

Practice negotiating the salary which Onyschak said is the hardest thing for everyone, entry-level or not. But, securing fair compensation is important. Also, consider the other perks. Is there long-term growth in this organization? Are there promotions, tenure, opportunities, new skills, or other perks that you can leverage elsewhere?

Culture fit is huge. In that interview, ask the questions that are important to you. Get a sense of the interviewer’s personality as they get a sense of yours, and see if you can picture yourself working there and fitting in with that team, Onyschak said.


Using Artificial Intelligence

There have been many stories in the news regarding artificial intelligence and concerns and worries as to how AI may affect job hiring. But AI has its perks, particularly when it comes to resume writing.

Onyschak said entry-level professionals are encouraged to use AI to help craft resumes and cover letters. However, while AI is a great tool, it’s not a personal tool, she said.
AI can be used to help with resume writing and email. But it doesn’t replace that human component.

“I think it’s critical for you to go back and edit what the AI gives you so that it is more personal and sounds like you,” Onyschak said.

Be sure the content is truthful and authentic, too.

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