Universities are producing record numbers of graduates just when the economy can no longer absorb them, it appears. The credit crunch will turn into a career crunch for some.
I don't have any easy answers to offer: I suspect that we're experiencing a shift from working for large organisations towards smaller players, from secure employment to more flexible arrangements. This can be painful for some, but open doors to others. Graduates, I feel, should be better equipped to respond to change and uncertainty than non-graduates. We'll see.
But help and advice has never been so available to those seeking work. Much of this advice can be summarised in two points:
- Network. This involves connecting with and meeting people, and not just on Facebook. Explore PROpenMic, the professional social network LinkedIn and join professional bodies like the UK's CIPR. Allie Osmar tells how her Mentorship Connection initiative led directly to a job offer for one person. Sadly, her career's taking off so the Mentorship Connection is no longer being supported.
- Stand out. This has always been a competitive industry and it's not getting any easier, so you need to be an outstanding candidate. Sometimes this involves paying attention to detail and doing the basics well. In a thoughtful essay, Harold Burson argues that 'writing quality has been diminishing for half a century at least' and that 'the young job seeker who demonstrates writing skills is immediately differentiated from others'.
UPDATE: Richard Edelman offers seven tips for graduate job seekers.