When it comes to hiring decisions, entry-level job candidates with a degree from prestigious schools have an upper hand with most HR managers, a new survey shows.

In a survey of 1,400 CFOs nationwide, just over half said the stature of an applicant's school was an "important" consideration in their hiring decisions, while 13 percent said it was "very important," according to Accountemps, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based financial staffing firm.

Max Messmer, the firm's chairman, said hiring managers also consider extracurricular activities, college job experience, and other factors in determining a candidate's qualifications. "Employers should avoid letting a single factor, such as where an applicant went to school or which internships he or she completed, carry disproportionate weight in the evaluation process," Messmer said in a statement. He said a strong work ethic and an ability to adapt quickly to new working environments, among other factors, were equally important.

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