GRADUATING students at the National University of Singapore (NUS) will have their pick of jobs at the university's annual career fair, with a record number of participating employers offering significantly more opportunities than last year.

The NUS Career Fair, which started yesterday and ends today, has attracted 145 employers. On offer this year are 4,200 full-time jobs.

Last year, the 120 employers who attended the event offered 3,500 full-time jobs.

The university has also tied up with the Singapore Human Resources Institute, a professional body, to give students and alumni a better chance of landing a job.

The tie-up provides them with access to internships and jobs with the institute's 3,000 members, a majority of whom are human resources professionals and key decision-makers within their organisations.

In announcing the tie-up yesterday, NUS deputy president of academic affairs and provost Tan Eng Chye said the partnership would also allow students to take part in the institute's interpersonal skills programmes. This is the NUS Career Centre's third tie-up with an industry partner. Human resources company Kelly Services holds talks for NUS students, while the Singapore Business Federation offers overseas internships.

Professor Tan said he is optimistic that graduating students will be able to land well-paid jobs as Singapore's economy is experiencing good growth, and firms across sectors are hiring.

'My understanding is that the market is very tight. So we really have jobs chasing graduates,' said Prof Tan.

Mr Jerry Hansen, a talent resources manager with consulting company Gallup, said his company is seeking to fill 12 positions in its Asia-Pacific offices this year - up from six last year.

'Our offices are expanding and we are getting more clients as the economy is improving,' said Mr Hansen.

NUS students said they are more optimistic about finding jobs than those who graduated last year.

However, final-year chemistry undergraduate Haydn Er, 25, is not sparing any effort. He submitted his resume to three employers at the fair yesterday and plans to go again today. He wants to pursue a career in product development with a pharmaceutical company, or conduct research at a biomedical institute.

Said Mr Er: 'I will send out my resume to as many employers as possible and also work hard at getting my research paper published.'

Final-year chemical engineering student Benjamin Ong, 25, said: 'Many seniors last year grabbed whatever job offers came their way. But graduating students this year have the opportunity to explore, to find out which job they like most.'

He expects employers to pay more.

'I think they know we are looking around and may get more than one offer. So we expect salaries to be better too,' he said.