Advice for Parents
Families - you are vitally important your student's success even after college. Having a support team will become a big part of them landing a job after they graduate. We are always here to help and guide you through supporting your student. If you need advice, don't hesitate to reach out.
While we won't be able to provide details of your student's academic progress, we will be your support system as you navigate being the parent of a Gen Z young adult. The workforce looks different now, so when you find yourself looking for the right way to encourage your student...just let us know!
A Brief Guide
Thomas J. Denham created A Parent’s Guide to Career Development. We believe this is
a great resource for parents and families as they support their student. We've shared
this courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
Next time you visit campus, drop into the career services office and pick up a business
card from one of the career counselors. When your son or daughter is feeling anxious
about his/her future, offer the card and say, “Please call this person. He (or she)
can help you.”
Many students use their first semester to “settle into” college life, and so the spring semester of the freshman year is the optimal time to start using career center services. Ask your student (in an off-handed way), “Have you visited the career center?” If you hear, “You only go there when you are a senior,” then it’s time to reassure him/her that meeting with a career counselor can take place at any point—and should take place frequently—throughout a college career.
Many centers offer a full range of career development and job-search help, including:
A network of alumni willing to talk about their jobs and careers
A library of books (including an online library of information) on a wide range of careers
Workshops on writing resumes and cover letters
A recruiting program
Writing a resume can be a “reality test” and can help a student identify weak areas
that require improvement. Suggest that your student get sample resumes from the career
You can review resume drafts for grammar, spelling, and content, but recommend that the final product be critiqued by a career center professional.
Ask: “Do you have any ideas about what you might want to do when you graduate?”
If your student seems unsure, you can talk about personal qualities you see as talents and strengths. You can also recommend:
Taking a “self-assessment inventory,” such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Talking to favorite faculty members
Researching a variety of interesting career fields and employers
A career decision should be a process and not a one-time, last-minute event.
The career center will not “place” your child in a job at graduation. Colleges grant
degrees, but not job guarantees, so having relevant experience in this competitive
job market is critical.
Your son or daughter can sample career options by completing internships and experimenting with summer employment opportunities or volunteer work.
Why an internship?
Employers are interested in communication, problem-solving, and administrative skills, which can be developed through internships.
Employers look for experience on a student’s resume and often hire from within their own internship programs.
Having a high GPA is not enough.
A strong letter of recommendation from an internship supervisor may tip the scale of an important interview in their favor.
Part of experiencing college life is to be involved and active outside the classroom. Interpersonal and leadership skills—qualities valued by future employers—are often developed in extracurricular activities.
Employers will expect students to know what is happening around them. Buy your student a subscription to The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal .
Introduce your student to people who have the careers/jobs that are of interest. Suggest your son or daughter contact people in your personal and professional networks for information on summer jobs. Encourage your child to “shadow” someone in the workplace to increase awareness of interesting career fields.
Call your campus career center when you have a summer, part-time, or full-time job opening. The staff will help you find a hard-working student. If your company hires interns, have the internships listed in the career center. Join the campus career center’s career advisory network and use your “real world” experience to advise students of their career options.