A recent New York Times article states that “a growing share of recent college graduates are having to settle for jobs that do not require a college degree, and they are earning less than their peers as a result.”

Statistics show that the employment status of college graduates under age 25 is as follows:

22.4% — Not Working.
22.0% — Working in jobs that do not require a college degree.
55.6% — Working in jobs that require a college degree, with a median annual income of $26,756.

Fifty-six percent of the class of 2010, held at least one job by this past spring. That number is down from 90% of graduates from the classes of 2006 and 2007.

An analysis by The New York Times of Labor Department data about college graduates aged 25 to 34 yielded that the number of these workers employed in food service, restaurants and bars had risen 17% in 2009 from the prior year. And, there was a substantial increase of college graduates working at gas stations, food and alcohol stores, and taxi and limousine services.

These positions do not require a college degree. With the constant doom and gloom in the media about today’s job market, how can we help recent college graduates enter the workforce?

To be proactive in your job search, follow this simple formula – P.A.C.M.A.N.

P - Prepare your personal inventory.(Who am I and what do I do? What skills and talents do I have? What am I good at and what do I like to do? What skills and talents do I need? What am I “not so good” at and what do I not like doing?)

A - Assess what you need. (Read through job descriptions and find out what employers want. If you don’t have what they want, go out and get it—experience, coursework, computer skills, leadership experience, etc.)

C- Create your marketing tools. (Are you ready to market yourself? Do you have a solid resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter, networking card?)

M - Make a plan. (Figure out what companies you want to target and where you want to send your resume. Organize your job-search (I recommend JibberJobber for this purpose). Commit to how many people you will network with and contact per day. Decide where you can go to meet potential employers and network and put these events on your calendar.

A - Advertise. People don’t know you are looking if you don’t tell them! Get yourself out there, physically and virtually.

N - Network. 70–80% of jobs are not published. Your best tool is networking—in-person, on-line, at events, through friends, parents… anyone and everyone.

Stay active and engaged in your search. Stay in motion and be proactive. The job market is challenging but is not impossible! The aggressive and strategic job seekers are the ones winning the game.

Author's Bio: 

Michelle A. Riklan, ACRW, CPRW, CEIC Résumés that land on the top of the pile! Coaching that puts you ahead of the competition. Training that ensures career advancement. We want you to reach your top potential!