College graduates get lesson in tough job market

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - With a record number of people in the job pool, recent college graduates are having a tough time riding out the unemployment spike.

Skyler Gemmer loves animals, but she never thought for a second she'd tend to them after college.

Skyler: "I graduated from Collins University May 2008 and I have a BA in history."

Melissa: And have you found a job?

Skyler: "No. Those who have way more experience are getting the jobs before the college graduates. It's frustrating to be in competition."

Sarah Perkinson knows frustration. She competed against 150 people for her job. 150 people.

"Oh it's tough out there. This is the first time really that economic problems have affected me personally. I started looking for jobs last year and almost a year later I found one," said Perkinson.

She's the new adoption coordinator for the Richmond Animal League, the non-profit where Skyler volunteers.

"It was very nerve-racking, especially being turned down so many times from other places," Perkinson said.

Sarah didn't throw in the towel and Skyler isn't either.

"I do hope it'll help with something somewhere down the road," said Skyler.

Although if she had nine lives she would have changed some things.

"I just majored in what I liked instead of what I actually thought was useful- which is a little bit of a regret," Skyler said.

But with a daily mantra she's staying focused, "I'm still looking. I'm not giving up."

And Sarah too has a little reminder, "I'm very fortunate to have a job."

So what set Sarah Perkinson apart from 149 others? Her detailed cover letter and a great first impression according to the Richmond Animal League.

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