ATLANTA - You've seen the numbers. And they don't look good.
A new study says the job outlook for recent graduates under age 25 is the worst it's been in 11 years. Fifty percent of young college grads are either underemployed or without a job.
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With less than a month until graduation, the career center at Clark Atlanta University is a busy place. Career services director Andre McKinney said when helping students, he still focuses on the basics - strong resume and interview skills. But as the job outlook worsens, McKinney is adding some new approaches.
"We're encouraging students to look beyond the traditional major that they majored in to see what else they could possibly find employment in," he said.
He offers three tips for graduating seniors:
1. Think outside the box. Be open to non-traditional careers and be prepared to revamp your resume to highlight different skills.
2. If you don't get a job, stay busy. Volunteer or do community service and try to somehow stay engaged in your chosen field, even on an unpaid basis. Find opportunities to meet and learn from people in your desired profession. And always continue to build your networking skills.
3. Finally, use your on-campus resources. It's not too late to get into the career center and work out a plan. They are valuable resources that you won't be able to access after graduation.
McKinney said many students who come into the career center are nervous about entering the declining job market.
"There's no one resume, there's no one cover letter that will land you that elusive job," McKinney said. "So it does take knowledge, networking, patience and skills."
Through a new partnership, Clark Atlanta University is putting greater emphasis on entrepreneurship. The school will soon offer more courses to teach undergraduate students about starting a business.