I have worked with numerous students in their Internship/Career Search. Usually, the search begins with a call from the parent requesting my help on their resume/job search. The parent gives me some background about their student and then I ask that the student get in touch with me and send me any information/documents (current resume) they have, that will help me help them. Sometimes this happens and sometimes it doesn’t. Oftentimes, the parent will send me a version of the student’s resume or sent me an email with the additional information I requested. I reiterate that the student should reach out to me to talk and communicate about their job search.
Parents, guiding your student behind the scenes is appropriate, however doing things for them is not ok. And this is where your help can actually hurt. As parents, we know about having a resume, looking for a job, and have years of experience in the workforce. However, our students are not going to learn about this process if we do everything for them. Here are a few suggestions to help guide and support your students in the process.
Instead of doing their resume for them, direct them to a resource to help them. In my own practice, I spend time discussing the student’s background and skills, asking questions and helping them take a fresh look at their past experiences. This not only helps them find achievements they’ve overlooked, but also prepares them for the interview process.
Instead of sending out your student’s resume, help them network and guide them toward resources that can help them network. Most students have extensive social media networks, but struggle when it comes to understanding professional networking. Showing your student how to network professionally can go a long way in helping them not only in the job search process, but with overall career development.
Instead of going on an interview with your student, talk about your experiences preparing for interviews. Ask your students if they have questions about the process and encourage them to have a plan and prepare on their own. Acknowledge that times have changed; technology has changed the way we do everything now, including getting a job. Also mention how some things remain the same – it’s still stressful going into those interviews, you still have to make a good impression, and you’re still competing against numerous other candidates.
Being a parent is a continuous job. As children grow older, it can become more difficult to distinguish how to help without hindering their growth. When it comes to the job search process, offering guidance, support and encouragement while allowing them to take responsibility for the actual work involved in the process is the best approach for your student’s career success.