How Your Parents Can Help You Get a Job

J.K. Simmons accepts the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in Whiplash with a "Thank you, Mom and Dad."

Let’s get one thing clear up front: Unless they already know them, hiring managers should NEVER deal with your parents directly. There are plenty of horror stories out there about helicopter parents calling prospective employers or taking salary negotiations for their son or daughter into their own hands.

This kind of parental involvement will only work against you. It makes you look young, immature, and unable to handle your own life.

But that doesn’t mean parents can’t be a big help as you make some progress in your job hunt. Make sure you hit up Mom and Dad for these things while you’re applying for internships or full-time gigs.

1. Tap into their professional networks

If your parents work in a field that interests you, work to learn a little more about what they do. They may be able to set up an informational interview or get someone in their human resources department to take a quick look at your resume.

2. Use their proofreading skills

Ask your roommate to proofread your cover letter, and he might glance at it while binging on Netflix. Your parents will probably take it a little more seriously. (Your college or university’s writing or career center will also do a good job.)

3. Get a wardrobe upgrade

A suit to wear to job interviews might be a boring, expensive purchase for you, but it could make a great graduation gift from your parents. Better yet, ask your parents to buy it now during your junior year so you can get a little more use out of it.

4. Get even more financial support

A little help rounding out your professional wardrobe is nice, but lots of people rely even more heavily on their parents when they’re just starting their careers. From moving back in with your folks for a time after graduation to a little extra help covering student loans, don’t give up on career possibilities until you’ve talked the situation over with your parents.

5. Good, old-fashioned advice

Your parents know you pretty well. They know your skills and areas that challenge you. They probably even see a little bit of themselves and their career path in your job hunt. What’s more, they’re probably desperate to talk with you about this stuff. If you’re struggling with a tough decision, a quick call home might help to clear things up.