The senior year is when organizing and conducting a job search or graduate school search begins in earnest. It is also a time when students are heavily involved in more advanced courses in their majors and often have more responsible roles in campus and/or volunteer activities.
Balancing these important pursuits and setting priorities is a constant challenge for seniors!
You are probably anxious for this young adult to make a decision—and yet, he or she may be moving toward closure more slowly than you would wish.
There are a number of ways you can lend support during this challenging time.
- Suggest that he or she use the campus career center throughout the senior year. These offices provide assistance in preparation for the job search offering some or more of the following:
- Workshops and individual help with resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, and other job-search skills,
- Individual and group career advising,
- A library of books and bookmarks to web sites with links to job resources,
- On-campus interviewing opportunities, and,
- Alumni career consultant or mentor programs may also be a part of their services.
- Don't nag your child about not having a job yet! This will often have the reverse effect. Use positive reinforcement.
- Offer to assist by sending information you may have found about the career field of your student's choice and/or job listings that may be of interest. Listen for indications from the student that you are getting carried away—and back off!
- Don't call potential employers to intervene for your child. Contact with potential employers is the candidate's responsibility!
- Be prepared to support your child through the ups and downs of the job and graduate school search. It can be a bumpy road! Not every desired job or graduate school acceptance will come through. Your student will need reassurance that for every door that closes, another opens.