SEATTLE—With the national unemployment rate hovering at about 9%, graduating college seniors face one of the toughest job markets in years.
Jessica Castaneda graduated from Central Washington five months ago, with a degree in film and video production...and she's still looking for work.
But at this point, she's willing to settle for anything. And that's why she's attending job fairs, handing out resumes, networking, and getting her name out there.
"I definitely feel kind of overwhelmed, just gradutaing there's a lot of people looking for jobs right now, so i hope to be one of them that's employed."
Jessica is realistic about her job prospects. She says she hopes to land something--anything--by the end of the summer.
Brian Anderson has also been out of work for over five months.
He was laid off from his engineering job at Genie, and is feeling a bit of added pressure. His wife is pregnant with their first child.
"It's just a matter of looking, and at times, trying not to get discouraged", Brian says.
He says looking for work has become his full-time job. He spends most of his time applying for jobs online, and has found that it's easy for highly educated, highly skilled applicants, like himself, to get lost in the shuffle.
"There's lots of other engineers applying for the same jobs that you are, going to the same sites."
Employers can afford to be more choosy in this climate, so, Brian has changed his gameplan. Getting feedback from contacts--he has fine-tuned his resume. Now, he's finally starting to get some nibbles.
"The Lord closed this door, he''ll open another one. I see him doing that right now. I'm starting to get interviews."
Brian says the saving grace for his family has been their budget. They are living debt-free. No car payments, no mortgage. And that's allowed him to be patient in his job search: waiting for the right job, and not just grabbing the first one that'll pay the bills.