"Early Show" Special Contributor Ayla Brown, a member of the class of 2010, is on the front lines of this struggle.
Brown noted the recession hit the class of 2010 midway through their college years.
She said, "When we started school four years ago, it was a different economic climate. The national unemployment rate has doubled since then and members of the class of 2010 are entering a pretty tough job market."
Brown shared the story of Tyler Sanborn, a 22-year-old who looks like the picture of success. However, beneath his "wink and a smile" demeanor, Brown said he's part of a struggling graduating class that forced him to move back home with his parents.
Sanborn told Brown, "Being a boomeranger -- somebody who moves back home after graduation -- is perhaps the most demeaning thing I've ever had to deal with."
Sanborn's back in his childhood bedroom because he can't afford to pay rent. According to numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, he's facing a job market with almost 10 percent unemployment where nearly one in five 20- to 24-year-olds are unemployed.
Sanborn's grade-point average in college was a 3.7. But as Brown pointed out, competition is fierce.
Sanborn completed his degree six months early at Boston's Emerson College to get a jump start hunting for work in the advertising business. However, with more than 40 applications for every open position, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers(NACE), it's tougher than Sanborn imagined.
He says he's sent out 70 resumes and hasn't heard from one employer.
With nothing available in advertising, his only option is a part-time clerical job. His dad drives him to the train, and Sanborn commutes for two hours or longer.
Sanborn's mother, Sara Sanborn said, "There are many people who would like to have just that part-time job and they can't, so he knows he's lucky he has that."
Sanborn received a $9,000 a year grant and his parents are paying for $75,000 of his college tuition. But he will still owe more than $30,000 in student loans.
Sanborn's father Jon Sanborn said he thinks his son's college education was worth the cost.
"I think time will tell," he told Brown. "And, I'm sure it will be, because he's not going to let up until he gets something."
A NACE survey shows employers plan to hire 5.3 percent more new college grads than they did last year. So, Brown said, there is reason for optimism.
Sanborn said, "I don't want to be generation whine here. I want to be generation Y and be productive, but, I just haven't had that chance yet."
Brown added Sanborn's graduation was Monday.
"He hasn't given up hope," she said. "He's submitted five more resumes, bringing his total to 75 resumes, but still no job offers."
So what is a job seeker to do?
CBS News Business and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis said jobs this year will predominantly be offered to graduates with majors in accounting, business administration, computer science, engineering, and mathematics. She added the jobs that are hiring most are in health care, green jobs, and advanced manufacturing, which is basically manufacturing of high-tech components and products.
She said it's tough for majors like advertising.
Jarvis suggested these tips for college grads and job seekers:
RETRACE YOUR STEPS - Retrace all your job hunting from the last year. Go back to every employer you spoke to, submitted resumes to, interviewed with and reiterate your interest. Even if you were turned down by them initially, this is an important step. The job market has shown signs of improvement, and the employers may have new opportunities. The only way you'll find out is if you ask. It's also important to alert potential employers to new skills you've picked up in the time between your original application and the present, perhaps you finished a course that lends itself to the job or did some type of volunteer work that makes you even more attractive as a candidate. Plus, your availability has changed. You're available now. And sometimes that can make a big difference in hiring decisions.
1. Talk to your fellow graduates, friends, and classmates. Ask if people found jobs. If they did, congratulate them, but then follow-up with a very important question, "Did you turn down any job offers?" If they did, find out which offers they turned down and ask if they would be willing to give you names and contacts at the employers and write you a recommendation. You can offer to make this easier by writing the recommendation yourself. Let friends know they can feel free to edit and shape it as they wish, but that you've done the heavy lifting.
Also, ask your friends if their new employers may still be hiring. If the answer is yes, ask them who you could follow up with or if they would be willing to make a recommendation. Many times employers will offer employment referral bonuses to employees for bringing in new talent. So you could even help your friend make a little extra money by being their referral.
2. Join clubs and organizations in the fields you want to find a job in. Rotary Clubs, non-profits, and other boards often give you a leg-up on the competition because they offer you a new forum to meet and greet potential employers. The more you become involved, the more contacts you'll acquire.
3. Tap into social media. This one seems simple, but the important component isn't simply joining LinkedIn, it's following up with the contacts and letting them know your interests. Also, be certain that anything and everything on your Facebook page is employer-friendly: Comment and update as if an employer was reading your updates!
4. Go straight to the source - Instead of relying solely on Internet resume drops, call the businesses in your community, ask them about job openings, and ask them managers if they'd be willing to have an informal "getting to know you conversation". You can tell them you're interested in the industry and want to learn more. Go in, introduce yourself, ask to meet the leadership and bring your resume!
MAKE AN OFFER - Employers today will frequently say they're not hiring, but you can take advantage of the tight job market by following up that statement with a question: "Is there extra work on your plate that still needs to get done?" Because companies are asking more and more of their employees in this tight economy, it's very common that people are working longer hours, with greater responsibility. You can take advantage of this by offering to work on specific projects as a temp or even volunteer employee. While it may not be your top choice, if you do a great job as a temp or volunteer, it will move you to the front of the line when a position opens.
BE WILLING TO MOVE - Companies used to pay the cost of moving. Today, with deep budget cuts, that's no longer the case (at least not everywhere). If you're in an industry that doesn't have jobs in your own hometown, but does have lots of jobs somewhere, consider moving to that location and doing your search from there. If it's not something you can do or afford, be sure to let it be known in your cover letter and/or emails/calls/conversations that you are happy to move.
CREATE A SCHEDULE - Put together a job hunting schedule and stick to it.
STICK TO YOUR BUDGET -
• Save all receipts from your job hunt. These expenses are tax-deductible
• Put together a budget. If you're not working, and living off of savings or loans you have to be frugal. Most people spend more on miscellaneous expenses than they think. Budget everything.
• If you're submitting all your resumes online, you're saving money.