Names Top 500 Entry Level Employers

College Grad Hiring Up 12.8% for 2004

MILWAUKEE, WI--May 10, 2004--As college students around the country prepare for graduation,, the #1 Entry Level Job Site, announces the Top 500 Entry Level Employers for 2004. The list represents more than 120,000 jobs for the graduating class of 2004, with a substantial 12.8% increase in hiring versus 2003.

"Entry level hiring is taking a very positive turn in 2004," said Brian Krueger, President of "We are seeing a large increase in the number of entry level jobs available in nearly every discipline. While the market is still very competitive, the jobs are there to be found for those who take the time to do the research."

Employers listed in the survey results, which are posted at, are hiring as many as 6500 new grads and as few as 10. But large or small, respondents have expressed their commitment to hiring entry level college grads.

For the first time in four years, the tide has truly turned as employers are again singing the praises of college graduate hires. "We are looking forward to going onto campus this fall and talking with the many talented individuals about opportunities with Cap Gemini," said Angie Gowan, America's Recruiting Director at Cap Gemini Ernst Young. "I am excited to see the increased needs for entry-level talent again!"

Other employers also note the value of new college hires. "We consider graduating students to be a wealth of talent and energy who are dynamic and in-touch with current events and trends," said Steven Jungman, National Recruiter at Mattress Firm, Inc. Stacey Leigh Hoffner, Manager of University Relations with Red Lobster agreed. "Our recent grads bring a unique passion, drive and energy to our restaurants. College recruitment continues to be a very successful sourcing strategy for Red Lobster."

The upward hiring trend has not gone unnoticed on college campuses. "We are definitely seeing signs of recovery for the new college hire job market, said Melanie Parker, Director of the Career Resource Center at the University of Central Florida. "Our recent career fair had a 21% increase in employer participation and we have a busier recruiting season this semester than at the same period last year."

"At Notre Dame, we have experienced an increase in recruiting activity in the 'just in time' job market," said Lee Svete, Career Center Director at the University of Notre Dame. "A number of employers who indicated a lack of hiring capability in the fall season, have now come forward to post jobs and even internships during our final exam week. Students are much more optimistic about their future compared to last year. "

The survey results names Enterprise Rent-A-Car as the #1 Entry Level Employer for 2004 with 6,500 projected entry level hires. "As we continue to grow, we will be seeking to hire motivated, college-educated employees who will be trained to provide exceptional customer service at the front line of our company's local operations," said Marie Artim, Corporate HR Manager for Enterprise. "The so-called 'jobless recovery' is not an issue at Enterprise. We're not just creating great jobs, but great careers."

The publicly posted survey results at include the hiring plans for more than 500 top entry level employers. While many on the list are household name employers such as Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and Geico Direct, there are also many lesser known employers such as Convergys, Farmers Insurance Group and KidsPeace. The common link is that they are all actively hiring entry level college grads.

The 2004 Top Entry Level Employer list will aid college graduates who face the highly competitive entry level job market. "The latest list and research will be an invaluable resource to students, said Marguerite Armas-Busetti, Director-Career Planning and Placement at Mercy College. "View the Top Entry Level Employer List as a slam-dunk way to network yourself into a job in your field."

The best employers have maintained their commitment to hiring at the entry level. "During the past few years, the best employers didn't desert the colleges they recruited at during the economic 'boom' of the late 90's," said Roger Young, Director of Career Services at Southwestern University. "They maintained strong relationships and a presence on campus through volunteering at, or sponsorship of, career related programs. They kept in touch and were there when needed. Those are the organizations that will have a head start in recruiting as the economy gets back on track."

This all spells good news for the Class of 2004. "When grad school is not an option and moving back in with the parents is definitely not an option, the good news is that there are still many entry level positions available," said Krueger. "Just do the research."

About is the #1 entry level job site on the Internet and is the leader in the field of entry level job search. Established in 1995, has been conducting the Top Entry Level Employers Survey for the past six years. Brian Krueger is President and Founder of and author of the best-selling book for entry level job search, College Grad Job Hunter.

Further information on this news story, including access to the original survey form, as well as additional quotes from employers and college career center directors, may be obtained from the Web site at:

Additional employer quotes:

"Thank you for recognizing us as a top entry level employer. Our recent grads bring a unique passion, drive and energy to our restaurants. College recruitment continues to be a very successful sourcing strategy for Red Lobster."
Stacey Leigh Hoffner, Manager, University Relations, Red Lobster Staffing

"84 Lumber is experiencing enormous growth! While many companies have cut back on hiring for 2004, we are focused on growing our company through hiring entry level talent for our Manager Trainee Program."
Greg Pond,National Recruiter, 84 Lumber Company

"At PNC Financial Services Group everyday is an opportunity to do more for our businesses, our employees, our communities and our customers. And that all starts by empowering employees. Through an effective hiring strategy of top level college graduates we are positioned to achieve the growth we seek."
Davie S. Huddleston, VP Human Resources, PNC Financial Services Group

"Although the job market in the New York metropolitan area remains uneven, Volunteers of America continues to hire new graduates for many key positions. We attract people who seek to do work that matters and want to learn. Working for a major non-profit organization has become an attractive career choice for students embarking on their career. Our new hires receive extensive training during their first year and are involved in many different aspects of the job, not just one area. After a couple of years, they have acquired tangible skills that will help them continue to grow professionally and have a rewarding career."
Lynne Plavnick, Director of Human Resources, Volunteers of America

Additional college career center quotes:

"This survey is reflective of the anecdotal information employers have been sharing with us for quite a while now. At Johnson Wales University, we have a comprehensive Career Management Program entailed to coach students through the selection of major specific courses, develop solid interviewing skills, explore experiential education opportunities, and present a professional appearance in the work place. Additionally, we recently introduced a Performance Transcript as a way of communication with employers the specific skills our students have developed through their coursework."
Celeste Brantolino, Director of Career Development, Johnson Wales University - Providence Campus

"It is important for students and graduates not to make assumptions about what employers are seeking in a candidate or what type of positions employers are hiring for. (Just because Steak 'N Shake is hiring, doesn't mean you will be flipping burgers.) Through networking and interviewing job seekers can open many doors and find potential employers that might have otherwise been ruled out."
Amy M. Sullivan, Student Employment Manager - Career Center, Augusta State University

"There are structural changes taking place in the recruitment of new college graduates. Productivity is up and companies have learned how to operate at leaner staffing levels; if they recruit, they are looking for the most cost-effective methods. Many are hiring exclusively from their internship rosters. Small and mid-sized companies are doing proportionately more of the hiring, and these companies typically do not utilize campus recruitment services. And then there is the exportation of jobs. All of these factors combine to make the current job market, despite optimistic forecasts, one of the most competitive for new graduates in several decades."
David Small, Assistant Vice President - Student Services, University of Houston

"Over the past two years, Northern California employers have consistently demonstrated their commitment by continually mainitaining their presence at the University of the Pacific. Whether they were hiring or not, our "partnering" employers always responded favorably to requests for classroom presentations, panel discussions, mock interview sessions and resumes reviews. Even attendance at our career faires has witnessed a strong consistency over the past two years. Having the presence of employers like Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Ernst Young, KPMG, Perry-Smith LLP and others has made a very positive impact as we move through these tough times."
John P. Carvana, Director - Career Resource Center, University of the Pacific

"Preparation! is the key, essentials such as effective cover letter writing skills, a professional quality resume, letters of recommendation, a knowledge of effective job search methodologies to include 'researching the organization', and interview preparation should be accomplished prior to starting your job search."
Harold Jenkins, Director - University Career Center, Georgia College State University

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Brian Krueger is available for interviews with national TV, radio, magazines and newspapers as an industry expert on college/entry level hiring, as well as Internet job search.

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