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If you have children who has recently graduated or is approaching that milestone, you are likely concerned about what you can do to help them to find their first job. As a parent, you are in a position to provide your children with guidance and help that can make their job hunt a positive and fruitful experience. Unfortunately, you are also in a position to undermine their confidence and turn off potential employers. Obviously you want to be a positive contributor to this process, but you may be unsure of what you should or should not be doing. If this is the case, take a moment to review these actions that you can take that will truly help your children find the ideal job.
1. Do Not Communicate with Potential Employers on Behalf of Your Child
Nearly every human resource director or recruiter has at least one horror story of a parent accompanying their children to an interview, stumping for their children at a job fair, or calling and arguing a child's case when they didn't get the position they wanted. Don't do this. It is infantilizing and can cause your child to suffer serious damage to his or her reputation, not only with a particular company, but within their target industry. This rule applies to all forms of communications.
2. Help Your Child Develop the Soft Skills they Need to Interview Well
In order to make a good impression in interviews, your children need to present themselves with confidence. They need to know their strengths and how to communicate those strengths to others. They also need finely tuned social skills and the ability to navigate introductions. As a parent, you can help them develop these skills by giving them advice, sharing your experiences, and simply modeling these skills yourself. When parents help students develop basic social graces and conversational skills, they are doing their kids an amazing service.
3. Create Natural Opportunities for Child to Network with People You Know
If you have connections that could be beneficial to your child, that's a great thing. Handled correctly, you can open up wonderful opportunities for your child, not just in their immediate job search, but for the future. Handled incorrectly, you can create an awkward situation for your child or cause your associate to feel as if he or she have been taken advantage of. If there are people you want your child to meet, the best approach is to simply create natural, social interactions where your child can meet and interact with potentially useful connections. Then, let your children apply the skills they have learned and sell themselves.
4. Provide Practical Assistance to Insure Your Child has what they Need
Some of the most useful things you can do for your children as they look for a job involves spending a bit of money. No, you cannot buy them a job. However, what you can do is help them with funding of some practical needs. For example, you could offer to pay to have your child's resume written by a professional. You could also offer your credit card up so that your child can purchase appropriate interview clothing. Sometimes this practical assistance goes much further than any sage advice you have to offer. Your willingness to invest in your child's job search in tangible ways can also demonstrate to your children that you have confidence in them.
5. Help Your Child Recognize Talents and Opportunities they May not Notice
As they look for their first job, your children are likely to be hyper-focused on finding a job directly related to their degree. This can cause them to forget that they have other talents, skills, and passions that they should also take into consideration during their job search. What you can do is simply to remind them of all of their strengths, and encourage them to consider all opportunities that match these strengths. For example, a child with a degree in finance, maybe focusing on opportunities in the corporate world. Because of this, he or she may not notice an opportunity in the nonprofit sector that matches not only the skills developed in college, but also his or her passion for helping others.