EY's Black advises potential graduates to get involved with available career resources and to continually make contact with on-campus recruiting efforts and events, because networking is such an important part of landing a job, he says.
"Don't underestimate the importance of being connected to career resources on campus, and get involved in the events and offerings from companies at your school," Black says.
"The campus recruiting folks are very involved with and invested in what's happening on campus, and so you should attend events, meet and network with company representatives and make sure your name and your resume is out there," Black says.
If graduates make themselves and their interest known, they become recognizable, and more than just a name on a page. And that could give them an edge when it comes to interviewing and, eventually, hiring, Black says.
HB Agency's O'Toole adds that graduates shouldn't be deterred by their lack of real-world job experience, since most recruiters and hiring managers are fully aware that entry-level candidates won't have the same skills and experience as a seasoned, older professional.
"It's unscientific, but the majority of hiring managers I've spoken to over the course of my career have an understanding that these candidates are coming in with minimal experience after four years of college," O'Toole says. "At this level, it's more about proving that they can be professional, mature, and will fit into the corporate culture and be willing to learn new skills on the job," he says.
So, Class of 2014 - don't wait. Start your job search as soon as possible, O'Toole says, "because you might get the job before others who wait until later."
And Class of 2015, it's never too soon to start.