Tips for college seniors entering a tough job market

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT) -- For many graduating college seniors, the transition into the workforce may not be as smooth as they had hope.

"One of the things we tell them is that they should expect it to take longer in finding a job," said Dr. Phil Hestand.  He advises students in the Counseling and Career Planning Center at ASU.

Nationally, 19 percent of college seniors who have applied for jobs have gotten one--that number is down from last year's 22 percent. Experts say the jobs are out there--but you can't wait for the job to find you.

"Go ahead and get out of your comfort zone.  A lot of us would like to stay close to home, but it may be a good idea to take some time and go away for a few years and get that experience," said Hestand.

Emily Hathcock will graduate in May, then start grad school. She wants to be a children's librarian and hopes the economy turns around so she won't have such a hard time finding a job when she's ready.

"That's kind of a market to where there's a lot of people in it but they're hitting retirement age. I'm hoping that the economy is good so that they'll want to retire so that it opens up positions for new librarians," said Hathcock.

A Walnut Ridge native, Hathcock says she knows she may have to move to get that job as a librarian. It's a tough choice she says, but something she has to consider.

Experts say there are things graduating seniors can do to set themselves apart--but some things apply to anyone looking for a job.  Experts urge those looking for a job to make sure your resume is in the best shape possible.  Experts also suggest polishing your interview skills and making sure you know information about the company you are applying to work for.

"The resume may not get you the job, but it's what gets you the interview," said Hestand