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A sixth Form student is congratulated by her mother after she opened her A-level results at Hayesfield Girls' School on August 19, 2010 in Bath, England.
Job-hunting is such hard work – writing a resume, marshaling your references, pounding the pavement and then trumpeting your skills in the all-important interview. Why not just let mom do it? After she’s finished your laundry, that is.
According to research from Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute, about a third of employers say parents are actively involving themselves in their adult children’s job search. It’s one thing to “help” your child find Easter Eggs, finish a jigsaw puzzle, or pick out a tie to match his socks. It’s another to doctor your son’s resume with jobs he never had, or fix your daughter’s typos on an assessment test.
All parents want the best for their kids – the best preschool, the best college, the best opportunity to shine in an overcrowded job market. But does showing up at job fairs, handing out resumes and tagging along on job interviews help or hurt the little darlings?
Some employers say seeing anxious parents in the cockpit is a sure sign that the candidate isn’t ready to go it alone. On the other hand, today’s boomer-juniors, used to an open, friendly relationship with their parents, find it perfectly natural to turn to them for advice and a helping hand.
How much is too much when it comes to nudging your fledglings out of the nest? If you’re a parent, how do you break the helicopter habit?
Philip D. Gardner, director of research, Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University
Christine Hassler, author and Gen-Y life coach