What a day I’ve chosen to write this Take; it’s late afternoon on Thursday, Aug. 26, and today the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed below 10,000 again. Coincidentally, we’ve been sweltering here in the San Francisco Bay Area with an unusual heat wave (bring me lemonade, stat!), and I’ve been trying to help a young man find a software engineering job.

The young man—the boyfriend of a friend’s daughter—has a solid resume, given that he’s only been out of college for a few years, with experience in software development, testing, quality assurance, second-level support and network operations. He’s versatile, too, with skills in Java, C, C++, C#, HTML and Flash, and has been using both Visual Studio and Eclipse. Even more important: He’s been programming in Facebook Markup Language, and has worked with Google AdWords and Google Analytics.

How do you find a good, solid job with a background like that? He’s working all the social-networking angles, including Facebook and LinkedIn. Family friends (like me) are making introductions. He’s schmoozing every chance he gets.

It’s tough out there for people looking for employment, even if you’re a bright young software engineer in Silicon Valley. He’s thinking about doing some volunteer work to keep himself busy until the right job (or any job) in his field comes along.

My young friend isn’t the only one looking for work in the Valley. Another friend—a guy in his mid-50s—is also looking for work in technical marketing or product management. With a gold-plated resume, a winning personality and great references, he’s having trouble getting anyone’s attention.

What do you tell job-hunters in this economy, beyond advising them to meet people, meet people, meet people and meet more people?

Write me at feedback@bzmedia.com.

Alan Zeichick is editorial director of SD Times. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/zeichick. Read his blog at ztrek.blogspot.com.