Libby Mueller, For The Miami Student

College students are familiar with the grueling job search process, from painstakingly compiling résumés to frantically preparing for interviews, but a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) may ease some of the stress.

The survey found 2012 college graduate hiring is expected to rise 10.2 percent.

According to NACE, the 10.2 percent increase is higher than the 9.5 percent increase projected during a poll the association conducted in September.

Associate Director of Miami University’s Career Services Cathy Moore said Career Services, as part of NACE, knew about the increase in hiring.

“Certainly what we’ve seen in the office reflects the increase in hiring,” Moore said. “We’ve seen an increase in the number of employers at the job fairs. In addition, attendance at Spring ICE (Internship and Career Expo) was the second highest ever.”

According to Moore, on-campus interviews conducted by employers have also increased 10 to 12 percent from last year. Perhaps because of this, the number of students taking advantage of the mock interview process offered by Career Services has nearly doubled since last year, Moore said.

NACE Representative Mimi Collins said employment is up because of the improvement in the economy.

For future graduates, the positive change in the economy bodes well, Collins said.

“But I would say that although the job market has improved, students need to understand that it’s still very tough to get a job,” Collins said “What you want to do while you’re in college is make sure to avail yourself of the resources at your college career center.”

Moore said there is a plethora of resources available to Miami students through Career Services.

“We’re always striving to help students find jobs,” Moore said. “We have preparation sessions, whether it’s preparation for Spring ICE or the Career Fair, programs in the evening and programs in classes. In addition, the CareerLink database has seen a huge increase in the number of students using it.”

One thing Career Services has started doing to better prepare students is tracking which students attend career fairs by having them swipe into events with their student IDs, according to Moore.

“We can do more targeted research for those who are coming in,” Moore said.

Students can prepare themselves for an increase in hiring by being well-prepared, Collins said. Employers are specifically looking for students with good communication skills, she said.

“In particular, students who take part in practice interviews do much better,” Collins said.

Moore said Career Services’ mock interview program, which includes mock interviews with members of the community, students and staff, is a great opportunity for students to practice their communicating skills.

Senior business legal studies major Ashley Smith said in the Farmer School of Business alone, the pressure to get a job, even in the first semester of senior year, is very high.

“The increase in hiring gives me more hope that I will get a job,” Smith said.

Moore said students should begin seeking jobs sooner rather than later.

“Start early,” Moore said. “Don’t wait until last minute to really start thinking about what you want to do and how you want to get there.”