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How Grads Can Compete in the Job Market

After being taught to believe they can be anything, many members of Generation Y never dreamed they’d be doing nothing. But this recession has been quite the wake-up call. In February, unemployment was at a record high of 8.1%. And the unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted) for 20- to 24-year-olds and 25- to 34-year-olds were even higher, at 12.9% and 8.7%, respectively.

Thao Tu is afraid of becoming one of those statistics. By the end of 2009, she’ll have earned an associate degree in accounting, just when the general unemployment rate is forecast to approach 10%. While in school, she’s already had some bad luck seeking part-time work. After applying for more than 100 jobs since last July, she scored only three interviews and almost gave up.

At the same time, she did what she could to improve her prospects. Tu, 33, picked up a couple of unpaid gigs that awarded her experience in her chosen field. Career consultant Vickie Causa thinks this is a great move. “Recruiters and hiring managers look very favorably on volunteerism,” she says. Read more…


Publish date: May 1, 2009