- It's difficult to get anywhere with a "general" STEM major like Math, Physics, Chemistry, Statistics or Biology, unless you know specifically what type of job you want and you know how to use your major to market a specific skill set related to that job. It's okay to choose one of those majors if you're unsure of what you want to do and you're a sophomore who's being forced to choose a major, or if those subjects greatly interest you. Just make sure you have a marketable skill set that you can demonstrate with experience.
- The economy sucks. It's worse than the politicians make it out to be. If you're smart, you realize that the politicians cook the books on unemployment numbers and that the job gains in the past few years have largely been for part-time jobs in the service sector. Also, fewer and fewer jobs are "safe", due to foreign workers and outsourcing. What all this means is that any decent job is extraordinarily competitive to secure. As Thomas Friedman says, "Average is over." You can't be average and expect to have a decent living. Having a college degree merely makes you average. That's because of my next point.
- There is an overabundance of college degrees and hence you see college grads working as baristas and forklift operators. The Bachelor degree as a requirement for podunk jobs is just because it has replaced the high school degree as the weed-out educational requirement. A job listing for a hamburger flipper will get 5000 applicants and so the employer can afford to require a Bachelor degree. He'll still have 1000 applicants to choose from and at least he knows these 1000 have some base level of intelligence and motivation.
- Another consequence of the bad economy is that temp agencies have sprung like wildflower. Evidently, some people have had success working under temp agencies and then getting hired full-time by the company they were doing work for. But the vast majority of people who get contacted by recruiters at temp agencies are getting led on by fake job listings and recruiters who are just filling their daily quota of contacts or trying to use your personal references to network and find more client companies for themself. Don't get your hopes up if one of big tech staffing agencies like Robert Half Technology calls you and tells you about how they want to submit you for a perfect position they have.
- The best job boards, in descending order, are Indeed, LinkedIn and, believe it or not, CraigsList. But none of these are good for a recent college grad. Any position that is listed is "Entry-Level" will have 20 requirements including 5-10 yrs professional experience. There do exist truly entry-level jobs at good companies, but you'll only be able to find them through your university or other connections. Apply for the jobs with "require" experience even if you don't have it. If they give you a call, that means they think you're a good potential candidate in spite of the fact that your resume doesn't show you have experience. I've gotten calls from several places after applying for jobs for which I didn't meet the "requirements."
- Don't bother going to any "networking events" or "open houses". It'll be you and 1000 other desperate people trying to suck up to the company while their managers give an info session and gloat over how great their jobs are and how they pick up only the greatest talent on Earth and that you should apply online if you think you're elite enough.