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May is alive with the nervous energy and resume flurry of brave new grads who have foregone the investment banking and consulting routes. They are right to be anxious. The market is as competitive as ever and standing out has become a technological art.

A classic example of how things have changed since I graduated college is Jackie. She graduated from the University of San Francisco two years ago and has cobbled together a living that is reflective of the economy and just how difficult it is for young people like her to find a full-time job.

She started by working at a sandwich shop and then found her way to a series of internships. She is now working three jobs on average. Her major crime? Having a non-technical major—a B.A. in sociology with a concentration in Criminology, to be exact.

Unfortunately, most small companies and start-ups can't afford to bring on new college graduates who don't already have marketable skills. They simply don't have the budget to pay someone full-time to learn. Instead these recent grads are paid for easy to manage, discrete tasks otherwise known as "freelancing."

A new survey by ELance bears this out. Their survey found that "83% of Millennials state that working independently or freelancing is a cornerstone of their career strategy."

In fact, many even claim they're happy as non-employees with "53% of Millennials stating that they are happier working as a freelancer versus a full-time employee." That could be because a large percentage of them have never had the opportunity to work full-time, but the survey doesn't shed light on this.

eLance Survey

Still the question remains, how does a young person get ahead in this digital age? They do it like many a pioneer before them—by thinking out of the box. Something these two candidates did:

Candidate A:
Candidate B:

While these resumes are not likely to make it past the HR departments of very large, staid companies, they are exactly what the start-up world looks for: aggressive, resourceful and creative people.

And Jackie? While she didn't have a snazzy resume when she set out two years ago, she did have hustle. Something new grads have to have today no matter the byte size of their resumes.

Find out How it Works for Alicia at