College Grads, Unemployment & More than a Resumé

  While the economy is slowly recovering, some recent college graduates are still struggling to find work.  

While the economy is slowly recovering, some recent college graduates are still struggling to find work. 

Last month, Curran Consulting Group analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics data on unemployment and college graduates. The report stated that 6.4% of young college graduates were unemployed in March 2013. It is true that those with a college degree experience a better chance of being employed (the national unemployment rate was around 7.6% for that same time period), but young college grads are “the group with the greatest debt burden.” And, according to the Economic Policy Institute’s brief The Class of 2013, over “the next 10 to 15 years, those in the Class of 2013 will likely earn less than if they had graduated when job opportunities were plentiful.”

The context for college graduates and their struggle to find suitable, well-paying work that can help alleviate their student debt provides a fascinating backrgound for a recent study from More than a Resumé.

More than a Resumé’s survey demonstrates that parents, who typically work hard to get their child into school, will likely soon be doing just as much to make sure their college students can get a job after college.

Read below to see More than a Resumé’s interesting survey findings or read the full report here..

Study: Parents Need to Worry As Much About Getting Their Children Out of College As Getting In


Denver, May 6, 2013—As soon-to-be college grads and their parents are discovering the hard way, many have focused too much on getting into the right college and not enough on transitioning into the professional workplace, according to a new study authorized by More Than a Resume. But with ongoing economic pressures dimming employment prospects and the era of hyper-involved parents that trend is likely to reverse, according to Jane Horowitz, the career-launch coach who heads More Than a Resumé.

A full 71% of parents were involved or highly involved in their child’s college admission process, with one-third paying for outside resources, including exam prep courses, tutoring, essay coaches and application consultants, according to interviews and a national survey of 250 parents of college students and recent graduates. In contrast, just 40% of parents are helping their children land that crucial first professional job after graduation and only a tiny 1% pay for expert support, such as resume preparation or job coaching.

But parents are overly optimistic about how fast their children will secure professional employment. Seven out of 10 believe their child will land his or her first professional job with within five months of graduation while 23% say their child will have a job by graduation. But 40% of parents with recent graduates say it took their child six months or more to find a job while 22% report it took more than one year.

“Parents freely admit they are in over their heads when it comes to helping their college grads launch their careers. And they are finding job-placement services at colleges woefully inadequate,” says Horowitz.  “Parents now realize that a top school education doesn’t guarantee a job. In investment language, parents have overlooked the exit strategy.”

A vast majority, or 95%, of parents agree that looking for a first job is very different today than when they joined the professional workforce:

  • 73%, say they do not have the right knowledge and contacts to help their child
  • 68% percent don’t know how help
  • 58% say they do not have a trusted network for support and help in this process

College career centers aren’t stepping up either. More than half, or 54%, of parents, somewhat or strongly disagree with the statement:  “My child’s college has excellent career service resources.” At 64%, the disappointment is even higher among parents involved with their child’s job search. In fact, parents in interviews related such experiences as:

  • “My kid realized he has to go it alone. They don’t know what to do with a history major.”
  • “The career services center told him (a college senior) it was too early.”
  • “They told him since 80% of our students go on to graduate school, it’s not our focus.”

“Just as with the college entrance process, parents and college students are seeing the need to adopt a more businesslike approach to moving through and out of college,” says Horowitz, who provides personalized coaching to help college graduates launch their professional careers. “There are steps every college student can take during school and afterwards to dramatically improve their chances of finding a professional job suited to their talents, interests and education.”

About More Than A Resumé

More Than A Resumé provides personalized career-launch coaching to help college students and recent graduates launch their professional careers. More Than A Resumé was founded by Jane Horowitz, who has over 30 years of hiring and management experience with major companies and nonprofits.


About the research

A national survey was conducted online in March 2012 with 250 parents of children either in their last two years of college or graduated within the last two years (but who did not attend graduate school). The survey asked parents to identify how, and to what degree, they prepared and helped their children find their first professional job out of college, and what they believe is important for a new grad’s first professional job search in today’s economy. The survey was conducted by nationally recognized Bauman Research & Consulting in Glen Rock, New Jersey, in collaboration with Emotional Reason, an insights-to-strategy consultancy in Chicago, Illinois