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Northeastern graduates gain edge in tough job market

Northeastern University students in the Class of 2010 saw how tough the job market was for the graduates a year ago. As a result, graduates this year have had an opportunity to adjust their approach, be more proactive in their employment search, and take advantage of new Northeastern job placement initiatives, according to Maria Stein, director of career services.

But Stein also says Northeastern’s cooperative education program, which integrates classroom studies with experiential learning opportunities across the globe, makes graduates better prepared for success in the professional world and more attractive to employers.

“I think our students always have great opportunities for landing jobs and getting jobs that align with their career goals because of the professional mindset, confidence and preparation they’ve gotten from their co-ops,” Stein says.

According to Stein, there are signs the job market is improving, but it will still take awhile for it to fully recover from the recession, and she says students must brace themselves for this reality.

“It’s a challenging economy, and the goal is to help you find a job that you will enjoy, that challenges you and that’s building your skills and moving your career forward,” Stein says.

In recent years, the Princeton Review has named Northeastern among the top schools for job placement.

While career services administrators are gratified by the positive media attention, they have not slowed their efforts to find innovative ways of improving placement services.

For example, in the face of slower employer on-campus recruiting activity, Northeastern has launched a host of new partnerships and programs in the last year that will improve students’ chances of landing jobs. The University started an “employer-in-residence” program, in which representatives from Raytheon, IBM and Shawmut Design and Construction held regular hours on campus for students to inquire about job opportunities and seek input on their resumes.

Northeastern also started holding LinkedIn workshops for students and alumni to improve their professional profiles on the website and learn how to network to strengthen their chances of landing jobs. A new recruiting program called “WYN It: Recruiting When You Need It” also connects students to jobs that employers are seeking to turn around very quickly.

“Our job is really to help students and employers connect,” Stein says.

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