The last time the U.S. unemployment rate was close to 10 % was in 1983 in the heat of a recession. I started a new job in March 1983, was in my twenties, and personally have been in the situation we are now. When I counsel young people, three strategies work if he or she wants to find a job.
First, do your homework about the company, which is easier than it ever has been with the internet. People stand out who understand and communicate why they would like to work at a company. Second, be flexible about your demands. The job the employer has or can create may not be in the location, or the right level for you. Make sure you know that if you find a good company, the job will change as the economy changes. It's more important to get in the company, even if it is through a temporary help agency so the employer can judge your work quality and ethic. Finally, prove your worth by creating a resume that shows accomplishments not activities. Even coming out of school, most graduates can quantify how they made a difference rather than just participate in an organization, volunteer or otherwise.
Recently, a student who worked for me was seeking full-time employment upon graduation. She wanted a marketing job in the cosmetics industry in NYC. Instead, she found an outstanding marketing job for a Fortune 500 company in the food business , not far from her school in Virginia. I counseled her using this three-prong strategy and she found this job. She loves it.