A lot is written about the millennial generation. They were born between the early-1980's and the early-2000's and are entering the workforce at a fast clip. Many of them are going to college and pursuing education to prepare for their careers. They tend to get a bum rap on a few different fronts, including one they may not have much control over. The term "helicopter parents" was coined, in part, for millennials. They are the parents hovering over their kids. They scheduled play dates, made latchkey kids unheard of, and made sure everyone on the team got a participation trophy.
Now that these students are grown and entering the workforce, how will parents transition? Every parent is interested in their son or daughter finding a great job and being successful, but there are limits and good ideas for parents to help their kids land a job after college.
One way parents can have a tremendous positive impact on their kids' job search is to introduce them to new people. Putting out the word to friends, colleagues, and acquaintances that your child has recently graduated and is excited about starting his or her career is sometimes all it takes. Better yet, if those contacts are willing to help with an informational interview, that is an even better route for a young adult to find out more about a job, business, or industry.
Whether in-person or via email, the introduction is where it should end. Parents should not be an agent. Following the introduction, the new graduate should pick up the cue and follow up with contacts.
Parents have perspective. It's not always appreciated until kids reach their 20's or 30's, but it is a valuable tool for parents. Have a conversation about the graduate's job search strategy, where they plan to look, and how they plan to proceed. If they have not given it much thought, a mom or dad's insight could get the ball rolling. If there already has been some consideration, parents can help refine the strategy.
Resume and Cover Letter Review
Resumes and cover letters are still key to getting in the door with many organizations. Lend a discerning eye to reviewing these documents before submitting them to jobs. They should be directed to the specifics of the announcement as much as possible. Avoiding typo's and spelling errors is a no-brainer, but parents can also catch formatting mistakes, make recommendations about phrasing, or point the student in the direction of a professional resume writer.
Parents naturally want their children to succeed, but they also want them to feel good about themselves. In other words, the working world can be a bit harsher than a parent can. Objectively discuss with your grad their strengths and weaknesses going into the job search. You have probably been through more job interviews, so consider practicing interview questions. It is never too early. For people that have not been in many interviews, common questions can be difficult to answer. Working out the kinks through practice can make those real interviews more impactful. Career Coaches are very helpful in this area as well, and a parent can assist in finding and vetting a Coach to assist.
There is a very good chance that a new graduate will not land his or her dream job right out of the gate. Sometimes it happens, but be prepared for a prolonged search, which can lead to a range of emotions for people. While it may be tempting to reach out to that hiring manager, do not do it. Your assistance has to go to a certain point, and then you have to let them operate on their own, which may mean taking their lumps. Throughout the process, you want to be supportive. You have likely been your child's biggest fan their whole lives. They may need that positive influence, sound advice, and all-around support as they enter the workforce.