10 Ways Parents May Be Hurting Their Young Adult’s Job Search

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Anne Weeks
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Got the Urge to Run Your Child’s Job Search? Here’s When You Know You Need to Stop!


In a recent survey, 40% of parents were helping their young adult search for their first professional, post-graduation job. In many cases, parents were crossing the line between support and control, and some parent choices were sabotaging their student’s chances.

So, as a parent who means well, how do you know when you are taking your role beyond the limits? Here are ten ways you may hurt your young adult’s job prospects:


  • Controlling the Job Search

You can advise and support, but your graduate needs to be the one doing the work. Trust that the independence your young adult has learned in college will translate to independence and responsibility in searching for a job. Encourage your student to make full use of the college career center as early as sophomore year.


  • Hands-off to Resume Writing

Resumes look different today, so you won’t know what you are doing! Be a proofreader and give feedback on how well your graduate has communicated on paper, but let them write the resume.


  • Negotiating

Do not try to negotiate your young adult’s starting salary. Many entry-level salaries are set and not open to negotiation. If your child is nervous about discussing salary, suggest they read through the BTU Blog for suggestions on salary talks, plus lots more for preparing for the interview process.


  • Killing Dreams

Allow your graduate to reach for the stars if they want to apply for a dream job. When they are young, they can afford to try and to take risks. Taking a job because it is “safe,” and will provide a salary, but will be boring and cause unhappiness, will not benefit in the long run. Trust your young adult to make good decisions and to own their process.


  • No Demands

Make sure your graduate understands they are not in a position to make demands with their first job. Make sure, as well, that they understands the importance of good manners and professional etiquette.


  • Contact

You may help with networking, but your graduate should be the one to make the connection, not you. Making the appointment and doing the legwork will, again, encourage your graduate to own the process.


  • No Rescuing

Employers value those who can problem solve on their own. If your young adult complains about work, you can actively listen, but you should not intervene or encourage them to change jobs. Learning to handle work conflict independently will allow your child to build the skills needed to be successful in their career. No work environment is problem-free.


  • Social Media

As early as freshman year in college, your child needs to be aware of social media presence. Employers will see what is posted, period.


  • Career Services

College campuses have career service programs, so encourage your child to connect early on. You can also use a personalized coach through Beyond The U, as early as sophomore year, to begin the process of building a resume that will be strong enough to impress employers in a future job search.


  • RELAX!

All parents worry their graduate will not successfully launch a career after college. The fact is, most do just fine eventually – there may be bumps in the road, but they will get there. If your student is struggling to decide what career to choose, turn to Beyond The U for a personalized assessment that can identify your child’s strengths, passions, and skills and can lead to satisfying your child’s needs in a fulfilling profession.

You can do this! Stay calm and carry on!

Beyond The U is a community of students and employers connecting college seniors and graduates with mid-cap companies.  The Services are FREE to the student.  All students need to do is register.

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Anne Weeks

Anne Macleod Weeks is a graduate of Lawrence and Villanova Universities. She has been an educational administrator and English teacher for 38 years, specializing in the area of college admission. Ms. Weeks has been a leader in the college admission and Advanced Placement arenas and has published on pertinent educational topics in a variety of national papers and journals. She currently resides in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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