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Job placement remains low, hopes for spring job fair remains high

The overall job placement rate for Bradley graduates has fallen below 90 percent for the second year in a row, but the spring job fair’s growth this year encourages a positive outlook.

“We have never had more employers at the spring fair than the fall fair,” said Smith Career Center Executive Director Jane Linnenburger. “There are 96 companies registered for the spring fair, we  had 92 at the fall fair and 76 at the fair last spring.”

Linnenburger said there are as many as six new companies, including PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and Exelon Corporation, that will be attending the job fair on Feb. 9. Employers are able to register as late as the day of the fair.

“We’re expecting a few more [employer registrations] will come in,” Linnenburger said. “We could reach 100 [employers]. We’re very excited.”

As reported in the Smith Career Center’s most recent Graduates Executive Summary, both graduate and undergraduate placement rates are at 88 percent for the 2009-10 school year.

Linnenburger said the economy has stunted job placement over the past few years.

“Because of the economy students need to present themselves the best way possible,” she said. “They need to consider behaviors, personal image and be aware that is a competitive environment for getting internships and full-time jobs”

The 2009-2010 Graduates Executive Summary report shows that students with previous field experience have a higher job placement percentage.

Junior mechanical engineering major Bryant Morris said he won’t be looking for an internship this summer.

“I’ll probably check the job fair out, but I plan to go straight to a job [after graduation],” he said. “I have a lot of experience from other summer jobs, in the management aspect of engineering.”

Sophomore marketing major Stephanie Sieloff said she is preparing for the job fair in several ways.

“I am updating my resume and cover letter,” she said. “I am also attending resume critique day and I’ll research who will be at the job fair ahead of time.”

Sieloff said she already has a internship for this semester, but is interested in an internship for the summer.

“My internship now is only a semester long and I would like to experience different areas of marketing,” she said. “I am using erecruiting [to research internships] but most offerings for the summer require junior/senior standing. Hopefully the job fair will help.”

According to the Graduates Executive Summary, “Graduates who were employed identified previous employers, networking and employer web sites as top sources for their accepted employment.”

Linnenburger said many students network with faculty, friends, family and previous employers. In addition, she said Linked In and other web sites have made huge changes the hiring process.

“The internet opened up a realm of opportunities, jobs and internships. It is limitless as it seems it has reduced the face-to-face in prospecting that you have at job fairs,” she said. “You have to make a combined effort and utilize several approaches and be able to create a blend of the two.”

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