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College Hiring Outlook Remains Strong, Careerbuilder.Com Survey Finds

One-in-Four Hiring Managers to Increase Starting Salaries

CHICAGO, April 13, 2005 – CareerBuilder.com’s latest survey has good news for those college seniors preparing to enter the real world this year. Sixty-two percent of hiring managers plan to recruit recent college graduates in 2005 and one-in-four say they will be increasing starting salaries over those offered in 2004. The CareerBuilder.com survey, “College Hiring 2005,” was conducted from February 24, 2005 to March 5, 2005 and included more than 600 hiring managers nationwide.

“It’s a different job market today with more promising prospects for college graduates,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.com. “Educated labor is in demand and 18 percent of hiring managers say they plan to hire a greater number of recent college graduates this year than they did in 2004.”

In terms of compensation, 28 percent of hiring managers expect to increase the starting salaries for recent college graduates this year, and only 6 percent plan to decrease them. Fifty-nine percent of hiring managers expect to offer less than $30,000, and 26 percent will offer $30,000 to $39,000. An additional 10 percent will offer $40,000 to $49,000 while 6 percent will offer $50,000 or more.

When evaluating candidates, hiring managers say the top five things they look for are:
1) relevant experience (28 percent)
2) professionalism during the interview (12 percent)
3) fit within the company culture (11 percent)
4) education (10 percent)
5) enthusiasm (9 percent)


“Twenty-eight percent of hiring managers say the candidate’s ability to relate their experience to the job at hand is the most important factor in the hiring decision,” Ferguson added. “Unfortunately, college graduates often underestimate the experience they have through internships, part-time jobs and extracurricular activities. In fact, 63 percent of hiring managers say they view volunteer activities as relevant experience.”

When college graduates do land a position, it’s important they recognize the first 90 days on the job is an extended interview. Hiring managers say the biggest mistakes college graduates make during their first three months on board are:
1) coming in late for work (12 percent)
2) presenting negative attitudes to co-workers or customers (12 percent)
3) spending too much time on personal business at the office (11 percent)
4) not asking questions (9 percent)


Survey Methodology

The new CareerBuilder.com survey, “College Hiring 2005,” was conducted from February 24 to March 3, 2005. Methodology used to collect survey responses totaling more than 600 hiring managers for this study involved selecting a random sample of comScore Networks panel members. These Web Panel members were approached via an e-mail invitation, which asked them to participate in a short online survey. The results of this survey are statistically accurate to within +/- 3.89 percentage points (19 times out of 20).

About CareerBuilder.com

CareerBuilder.com is the nation’s largest online job network with more than 20 million unique visitors and over 600,000 jobs. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company (NYSE:TRB), and Knight Ridder, Inc. (NYSE:KRI), the company offers a vast online and print network to help job seekers connect with employers. CareerBuilder.com powers the career centers for more than 550 partners that reach national, local, industry and niche audiences. These include more than 130 newspapers and leading portals such as America Online and MSN. More than 30,000 of the nation's top employers take advantage of CareerBuilder.com's easy job postings, 11 million-plus resumes, Diversity Channel and more. Millions of job seekers visit the site every month to search for opportunities by industry, location, company and job type, sign up for automatic email job alerts, and get advice on job hunting and career management. For more information about CareerBuilder.com products and services, call 888-670-TEAM or visit http://www.careerbuilder.com.

CareerBuilder Media Contact
For all media inquiries and interview requests, contact:

Jennifer Grasz
(P) 773-527-1164
(E) jennifer.grasz@careerbuilder.com