Is your mom or dad in the driver’s seat of your job search? If so, it’s time to slam on the brakes!
Letting someone else — whether it’s your parents, another family member or a friend — get too involved in your job search is always a bad idea. I know, I know — job hunting can be a pain, and the thought of having someone else handle it for you might be appealing, especially when that someone is older, wiser and has more experience than you do.
But beware: letting anyone other than yourself take charge of your job hunt is sure to land you in a job you hate – or with no job at all.
1. Only you can determine what is right for you.
Even your parents or your best friend can’t know exactly what kind of jobs you might be interested in. Granted, as a new graduate you may not even be sure of that yourself when you’re looking for your first job after college. That’s all the more reason to peruse jobs yourself instead of letting someone else do it for you!
You never know when something in a job description will jump out at you. It might be that a job you would never have considered will suddenly be of interest. Letting someone else look through listings for you only means that you’ll miss out on opportunities.
2. You don’t want to appear unprofessional.
If you’re adult enough to be hunting for jobs, then you should be adult enough to take your job search into your own hands. If your mom or dad sends inquiries to a company on your behalf, you are not only losing control of your own job search, but also coming across as extremely unprofessional to potential employers.
Holding down a job takes responsibility and dedication. If you can’t even manage to conduct your own job search, no company is going to think you are mature or professional enough to merit hiring. Never let anyone contact a company for you unless it’s a networking contact (more on that below).
3. Employers want to get to know you – not your parents!
Aside from the fact that you will come across as unprofessional if your friend, girlfriend or family member contacts a company on your behalf, this tactic also defeats the entire purpose of job hunting. Companies want to get to know their potential employees – not the parents or boyfriends of their potential employees.
The way that you express yourself in an email or job interview with an HR representative can be just as important as what’s on your resume. What’s more, if someone other than you is forwarding your resume or cover letter to companies, HR reps may wonder if you can even do the job.
How Friends and Family Can Help: Networking and More
A job isn’t the only thing you should be applying for on your own! Whether you are working on a fellowship application or trying to find an internship, you should always take charge of the process yourself. However, that doesn’t meant that you’re not allowed to have any help!
There are a few great ways that your friends and family can help you find a job. One example: job networking. Don’t be shy when asking acquaintances — from old internship bosses to former professors — to help you network. These individuals may also make great references!
You also can ask friends and family to review your resume and cover letter, double-checking for mistakes or typos that you may have missed. Your job search can definitely be daunting, so getting help in these ways can give you necessary encouragement and support.