Graduates should consider working abroad or volunteering in the current economic climate, Government guidance said.
As well as providing advice on finding a job, a new guide, published by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, sets out the other opportunities available.
Recent figures from the Association of Graduate Recruiters suggest that due to the recession, there will be a 5.4% decrease in job opportunities for new graduates this summer, compared to last year.
If job losses increase at the same rate as in 2008, or accelerate twice as face, there could be between 6,500 and 21,000 more new graduates unable to find work this year than there were last year.
The guidance, which is backed by the National Union of Students (NUS), says that even in a difficult labour market, people with a degree are more likely to get a job they want, and are less likely to be out of work.
But as well as giving advice on CVs and preparing for interviews, it suggests that students may want to think about options such as further study, volunteering, work experience, working abroad or teaching.
Universities secretary John Denham said:
“ Graduating from university is an exciting time but it can also be daunting as people consider their next steps in life after their degree.”
“In the current economic climate it's natural that students are considering their options even more closely, and that's why we want to provide as much information as possible about the opportunities available to students.”
Aaron Porter, NUS Vice President for Higher Education, said:
“NUS welcomes the opportunity to work with DIUS to help students prepare for life after graduation. In these testing economic times, it is more important than ever to ensure that students leaving university are supported and given advice on how to take advantage of the opportunities that are available.”