Pity the new college graduate. Right after “Congratulations!” comes the dreaded question: “Do you have a job yet?”

Slightly more new grads can answer “yes” than the last two years, according to university career services pros. “The job market for ’11 graduates looks better than last year. There are more job listings, and students are reporting that they are getting jobs,” says Marjorie Apel of Manhattan College.

Rachel Brown of Temple University agrees: “The number of employers who participated in Senior Week: Interview Extravaganza in Spring 2011 tripled from Spring 2010.”

Thomas Ward of Adelphi University warns, “It is still a very highly competitive labor market, and employers can afford to be choosy. Employers are not hiring in waves, they are staffing specific, strategic needs.”

Students are getting jobs, though. Nancy Dudak of Villanova University reports that 40 percent of the graduating class already has found jobs. “That’s typical of placement rates at graduation — 11 percent hasn’t started looking yet,” she says.

It helps that more employers are looking. Karen Diaz of Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston says, “We are seeing more job postings come into the office and receiving more calls from employers looking for our graduates of technical education.”

Alice Diamond of Lesley University points out that there are side benefits to the improving economy. “Students don’t seem to be panicked,” she says. “It helps that their parents are more relaxed. In previous years, many parents were also looking for work.”

And if you’re a graduating senior who hasn’t found a job, all our experts agree with Jim Marino of Rutgers Camden: “Take advantage of the services of their Career Center for access to leads from employers and for services that teach job-search skills, from resume-writing to job-search and networking strategies to interview preparation.”

Follow Judy Weightman on Twitter @JudyWEdu.