JobDirect Survey
April 16, 2001
Press Release, Business Wire
JobDirect, subsidiary Korn/Ferry International

Better Preparation a "Must" to Break Through the Competition

College seniors need to be better prepared than ever before to successfully navigate the new realities of today's job market, according to JobDirect (, a subsidiary of Korn/Ferry International (NYSE:KFY).

"In the past three months, Forbes 500 companies have announced 280,000 layoffs," noted Kevin Gage, JobDirect CEO. "The good news is that many of these companies are still recruiting college graduates for entry-level positions. The bad news is that students are no longer in the driver's seat when negotiating salaries and perks."

Gage offers five "top tips" to help graduates look more attractive to campus recruiters and human resource directors:

Leave your leather jacket at home. Sorry boys, the suit and tie are back for everything except casual Friday, if the company even has that day anymore. Ladies, suits are back for you too.

"Dress for success" has returned even to the hip technology world.
Just last week, Steven Jobs of Apple Computer was spotted at meetings in a suit and tie and, at first, nobody recognized him. Many of the accounting and professional services firms that went to 5-day dress casual last year have returned to a suit and tie dress code.

Don't wait until June.  
Look now! Don't let a planned post-grad trip to Europe keep you from aggressively pursuing a job today. "Most college hires occur before graduation. We tell students to get their resumes out, work their contacts and attend as many networking and recruiting events as possible -- even it if interferes with senioritis," noted Gage.

Let them mention the S word.  
The discussion of salary should not come up until your prospective employer brings it up. Today, entry level salaries are not the negotiation they once were and the salary gains graduates of two years past bragged about are now more modest. For most, their stock options turned out to be worthless and many are back on the street competing for the jobs you're going after.

Take the internship.  
Companies are hedging their bets today. Instead of offering permanent positions, companies use internships as a way to test-drive prospective employees. Internships offer employers insight into a person's skills and work ethic, but they also offer you the chance to see if you want a job with a given company without making your work history look like you're uncommitted. If an internship is offered in the company with a career path you seek, it's a great way to get your foot in the door and prove yourself.

Go to your campus career center and network, network, network!
Who you know really does count. The nation's best colleges and universities educate students about networking and often have exceptional career centers and alumni programs in every city that offer superb networking opportunities. Also, don't be afraid to ask your parents, their friends and your teachers to call on contacts. Research organizations in your field of interest and go to their networking events; they generally offer free admission or discounted rates to students.

"While you may have to wear a suit, it won't be the gray flannel kind of your grandfather's era.  
Today's new economy has spawned demand for recruits with initiative and new ideas, creating a more stimulating career path," Gage concluded.


CONTACT: Casey Sayre & Williams, Santa Monica

Kevin Balak or Tracy Olmstead Williams, 310/458-1224  or 

Copyright 2001 Business Wire, Inc.

Business Wire...04/16/2001

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