Navigating Today's Job Market as a New Grad

 – April 10, 2023
Navigating Today

As graduation season approaches, what kind of job market will the class of 2023 face? New research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half reveals five trends for college graduates planning to launch their career:

  1. Multiple interviews — Employers typically conduct four interviews with an entry-level candidate before extending an offer. But the process moves fairly quickly, with companies taking five weeks on average to make a hire.
  2. Questions that gauge soft skills — One in five managers attribute their hiring mistakes to placing too much weight on technical skills. To avoid making the same misstep, employers are asking situational questions to learn more about a candidate's traits and interpersonal abilities, such as self-motivation and collaboration, which are especially critical in hybrid and remote work environments.
  3. Preparation and follow-through — Beyond skills, managers said the following actions can tip the scales in an applicant's favor:
    • Researching the company (67%)
    • Maintaining a respectable online presence (51%)
    • Sending a thank-you note after an interview (49%)
  4. In-office time — While remote work gained prominence during the pandemic, less than one in three entry-level jobs (29%) are advertised as hybrid or fully remote. However, off-site opportunities are more common for technology and finance and accounting positions.
  5. Hiring bright spots — College graduates can increase their chances of finding work by exploring roles and industries with the most jobs available. 
First-Time-Job-Search Entry-Level-Skills

"While there are plenty of opportunities for the class of 2023, upcoming graduates should prepare for a rigorous hiring process," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. "Landing the right job requires patience and persistence. It's important for first-time job seekers to target their search, tailor application materials, network and be proactive throughout the process."

McDonald offers three job search tips for new grads:

  1. Pinpoint your priorities. Figure out what matters most to you in a job so you can focus your search. Consider deal makers and breakers, and potential compromises.
  2. Request an in-person interview if the role requires in-office work. This will give you a chance to get a feel for the commute, company culture and your potential colleagues, which are all critical aspects of ensuring a good long-term fit.
  3. Prepare to negotiate. The job market continues to favor skilled workers. Ask for the salary you deserve and other nonmonetary perks you value before accepting an offer.

Visit the Robert Half blog for tips on preparing for a job interview.