You're right. It isn't fair. You've spent four years in school, four summers interning and 4,000 hours in the library. And what do you have to show for it? A college diploma and a permanent seat on your parents' couch.

But you can't change America's economic situation on your own, and you can't change your own situation by complaining. So turn off the TV, grab some cheese for your whine and put all that pent up energy into making yourself marketable.

Taking an Internship or Volunteer Position

Start by adjusting your attitude. You are your own marketing tool, and that means putting yourself out there. Whether it's taking an internship or doing volunteer work, now is not the time to rule out any opportunity, even if you thought your days as an unpaid worker were over.

Meg Stow Crowley, a recruiter at Talent Ad Group in Houston, recognizes that for many recent graduates, accepting an internship means waiting even longer to start paying back student loans. "However," she says, "by being out in the corporate field, you're gaining knowledge, experience, contacts and the ability to further network, and you're keeping your résumé going, versus having a huge gap in it."

Consider signing up for a temp agency or donating your time as a volunteer. In this current recession, organizations are starving for an extra set of (free) hands, and Meg believes volunteering, in addition to letting you be a Good Samaritan, lets you show a fresh side of yourself as a job candidate.

It's opportunities like these, she says, that will help you meet people, which never hurts in a job search. Keeping busy is half the battle, so "get up, take a shower and have a plan," Meg says. Show employers some initiative. If you're lucky, an internship could even turn into a full-time job.


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