Young people have it tough in 2012. Though the job market is recovering slowly from its 2009 trough, employers still seem too nervous to pull the trigger and commit to large-scale rehiring. An early-year spark in the job market has given way to a sluggish spring, with job openings declining in April and the unemployment rate for young people between ages 20 and 24 standing at 12.9%, more than four percentage points above the national average.
But chances are you already know all that, and are probably tired of hearing the bad news. So we set out to find an antidote: A series of stories about people actually landing jobs — and how they did it.
We hope the stories that follow will serve as both model and inspiration for job seekers. The fact is, in a market with few openings and a surplus of applicants, job seekers not only need to work harder to distinguish themselves; they also need to utilize smarter, more focused, and more creative strategies for demonstrating their skills to prospective employers.
We hope to continue to collect and present more of these stories. So if you know of a young person (or anyone for that matter) who successfully landed a good job — and used some clever thinking to do it — email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can provide more real-life lessons on how to find a job in 2012.