TYLER, TX (KLTV) - College graduates are stepping out onto unstable ground and often with high student loans to repay. While the East Texas economy is better than in other places, it's still daunting for grads. Trying to snag that first job.
Joseph Solomon graduates from U.T. Tyler in August and is about to face the real world.
"Like, you want to graduate but at the same time, once I leave, that's it, and there's really not a lot out there for you right now," said Solomon.
He's not alone. A recent survey shows employers are hiring 22% fewer graduates. Dr. Mary Fischer says that's all the more reason to step up your game.
"If a student puts together a resume that is sloppy, that's not going to be successful."
There are a number of online sites to help you prepare. Like "college grad" and "career builder," but Dr. Fischer says there's nothing like good old-fashioned, face-to-face networking. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
"[Ask things like,] do you have any contacts, would you look at my resume, would you look at my cover letter, [and] things like that," explained Fisher. "[Give it] that personal touch you can't get with the Internet."
For Solomon, time is ticking.
"I actually just got turned down for a job I was looking for and that was a little disappointing," said Solomon.
"I'm sorry," I said.
"No, it's cool and I've got a couple more still out there and then worse come to worse, find just a basic job," he replied optimistically. "If you don't get a job in your field, you just have to, you have to pay bills."
That includes student loans.
"I worked at Sallie Mae too, so I knew first hand of what debt can do to people," he said.
To make ends meet, Joseph says a lot of his friends are moving back home or just staying in school.
"That's one option is go back to school and hopefully in the next couple of years when you're done with your masters you'll have more education and the job market will look better," said Solomon. "Then, there's a lot of people who are taking basic jobs and not necessarily in their field. Maybe working at Lowe's or working the night shift at Walmart."
Whatever you have to do and as Solomon says...
"I don't stop believing."
Dr. Fischer also says students dress casually in class and don't realize that dressing up and dressing the part for interviews is crucial.