Parents: What You Can Do to Help Your Graduating College Student find a Job

Parents: What You Can Do to Help Your Graduating College Student find a Job.  

According to the Millennials Civic Health Index , only 62.9%  of millennials  (young Americans age 18 to 29) have jobs, and out of those employed, 31.2% work on a part-time basis.


Those numbers are not encouraging to any college graduating student or parent. On top of that, according to the Electronic Recruiter Exchange (ERE), 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening, but only 4-6 applicants will get an interview, and just 1-3 of them will be invited back for a final interview. 


No doubt about it. Getting a job is very challenging. In order for someone to be part of the 2% who get invited to an interview, something out of the ordinary needs to take place.  Something that makes the applicant stand out. Applying through a company’s website or responding to a job posting is not enough. 


As a parent, you may often feel helpless because you don't know how to assist your college student. The job search process has changed tremendously in the past few years, and if you have not been job hunting recently, you may not be aware of the many new aspects to consider when looking for a job.  


However, there is one aspect of the job search that has not changed much, namely networking. It is estimated that around 80% of all jobs are found via networking.  What is encouraging is that you probably have a wide network. If you make a list of your contacts - friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, college alumni, people in associations, etc. - you will see. Add anyone you think might help generate information and job leads for your college student to your list.  You might be surprised by how many people you know, and also who your contacts know.


Your college student may also have a sizable network, made up of friends, professors, sorority sisters/fraternity brothers, club members and sometimes even internship employers.


Once you have made your list, you can take a direct approach and ask for job leads, or try a less formal approach by asking for information and advice.  You should also encourage your college student to reach out to people, but before doing so, make sure he or she is knows what to say and what to do. Only with the proper communication skills, will they appear professional when they reach out via email, phone or meet someone in person. Without such skills, all efforts could be wasted.


Practice is crucial and it cannot be done alone, nor should it be done without considering who the potential employer and interviewer  might be. This is where a career counselor's expertise can make all the difference.  By using the proper ways to communicate, your college student is much more likely to secure that first job, sooner rather than later, making both of you very happy!