This season more than> 220,000 graduates will be heading into the lackluster job market many of them joining parents and other relatives in the search. Despite their appeal as cheap labor, the jobless rate for 20- to 24-year-olds is now 16 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about six percentage points higher than the national average. Here s what to tell your kids if you want to keep them from moving back home.
Ever Googled your kid s name before? The results are more important than you think, says J.T. O Donnell, founder of Careerealism.com, a career-development company. Four out of five hiring managers say they search applicants names online, says O Donnell. Social-networking sites like Facebook are likely to pop up first, so it s important that the profile picture be professional. If unflattering results appear, one way to knock them down the results list, says Roberto Angulo, CEO of career-networking site AfterCollege.com, is to sign up for more social-networking sites, particularly ones like LinkedIn that are geared toward professional networking.
Of course, social networking isn t all bad. Experts say grads can also use sites like Twitter to show how serious they are about their career field. O Donnell recommends they set up a Twitter account to follow key industry figures, as well as top brass in companies they re targeting. Tweeting about relevant news stories not only shows they re up on industry news but that they re social-media savvy, something employers are looking for. In the workplace, social media will one day be as common as typing, says O Donnell.
Never stop networking
Even if the lousy economy has your graduate paying bills with barista tips, he should stay active in his chosen field through volunteering, internships or pro bono projects. With a recent survey by job-hunting site Monster.com showing that companies ranked word-of-mouth as the most effective recruiting method, coming out from behind the coffee bar to share a cup with helpful contacts in his field isn t a bad idea.