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Published May 09, 2011, 09:48 PM

Recent Graduates Facing Fiercely Competitive Job Market

Some UND students are finding out just how competitive the job market can be. After sending out resume after resume with little response, this Saturday's graduation might feel like more of a burden than a celebration.

Some UND students are finding out just how competitive the job market can be. After sending out resume after resume with little response, this Saturday's graduation might feel like more of a burden than a celebration.

Graduation is a time when undergraduate students stop worrying about homework and finals and instead worry when they will probably start to worry about what they will do next.

"I've been online and putting out my resume and filling out lots of applications," UND biology major Mary Brooke said.

Brooke eventually wants to go to medical school, but before that happens, she needs to turn her diploma into a post-college job.

She says she has sent out over 20 resumes.

"I've heard back from two and I filled so many out. I had one call me back and I thought, 'I don't even remember applying for this one,'" Brooke said.

A UND career counselor says there is hope.

"There was a slight increase last year and one again this year," Mark Thompson said.

Thompson says beyond more opportunities, he predicts a good chance for this crop of graduates finding jobs in areas they want, based on past numbers.

"Probably 80 percent or so have worked in their major or (in a field) somewhat related to their major," Thompson said.

It's a step up from a downturn in 2008, when students found themselves competing against each other and older laid-off professionals. The job market is still competitive, but Thompson recommends hands-on experience and for students not to be afraid to stay flexible.

"They may have to adjust their geographical preferences, they may have to adjust which industry they want to work in," Thompson said.

Most importantly, the job process is just that: a process.

"It feels like a lot of work to do. I haven't really gotten too many results," Brooke said.

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