DETROIT, Mich. — Thousands of recent graduates are looking for their first job in the middle of the profound economic uncertainty of the pandemic.
Some businesses are hiring, but others are struggling to remain open and in business, and for job hunters, the whole process is exhausting.
There are resources to help those new graduates breathe new life into their job hunt.
"So frustrating, very, very discouraging. You know, it's almost like do I even apply to jobs?" Emily Seigel asked. The recent Wayne State grad is looking for her first job in graphic design.
And Emily is not alone. In December 2020, the unemployment rate among 20-24-year-olds was 11.2% while overall it was 6.7%.
After applying for 100 jobs and still on the hunt, Siegel said it was time to get help to see what she may have been doing wrong.
She turned to JVS Human Services in Southfield, which provides a wide range of services for both job seekers and businesses. Too often, recent grads hold out for an ideal job and pass up on good opportunities.
"It doesn't have to be the opportunity. It doesn't have to be a final opportunity. Find a job, get some good experience, build your network," Jason Charnas with JVS said.
JVS will help job hunters with resume and cover letters, but also will network and offer guidance of soft skills.
"How do I contact you without being a pest, but not letting you know I'm really interested? What does the job application look like? What are how do I answer this interview question?" Charnas added.
New grads can also find help at Hired in Michigan. They've teamed up with Google to help job hunters identify opportunities using Google tools. Hired in Michigan also hosts monthly virtual job fairs. In the new virtual workplace, consider casting a wide net.
"The opportunity to work for a company in Hawaii, but you live right here in Michigan is very possible right now. You can work for a company in Tennessee and you're right here," Hired in Michigan Community Director CJ Eason said.
Emily has been picking up freelance work and babysitting to make ends meet. She's still looking for a full-time job in graphic design.
"I really can't be picky. This is my first job in my field. And just like I genuinely just want to get my foot in the door," she said.
Both career experts we spoke to say volunteering for a project with a business you want to work for is a great way to get a foot in the door. It can be just a few hours per week.
Another tip, look for less formal environments to meet insiders.
Lots of business groups and associations are holding virtual meetings, conferences and happy hours. That's a great way to get in with people in your industry, make connections and expand your network.
This story was originally published at WXYZ in Detroit, Michigan.