Once in a while, I have a memorable client. Memorable can be good – like the new grads who land wonderful and appropriate jobs. But then there are the ones who are memorable for all the wrong reasons, like the new grad whose father made a lasting and bad impression.
I’d say that about half of my new grad clients arrive via parents, siblings or other family members – aunts, uncles, and grandparents. So that’s not unusual. Actually, the gift of a professional resume is an amazing, career-launching gift. The investment reaps lifelong rewards if you consider that many new grads remain stuck in jobs not related to their studies.
That’s how “Howard” arrived at my service, via his father. Most family members step aside and I continue the work with the client, but not this father.
Howard was soon graduating from a Canadian university with a degree in Finance, which is a fairly conservative and traditional role. His father “distinguished” himself with these complaints, concerns, observations:
- Why, he asked, does my son require a formal cover letter with an employer’s address and so on? Why can’t he just send exactly the same letter to all jobs, without needing to change company name, date, salutation etc?
- He told me that Howard would never have passed if he (the father) hadn’t done most of his homework for him. Had I heard that at the beginning, I would have refused to work with Howard as my resumes are based on truth. Unfortunately this info was shared in the wrap up call.
- As I spoke with Howard after sending him his resume, I could hear his father in the background, berating him and putting him down.
I had a strong impression that this father would try to attend interviews with his son, or would brow-beat him when he didn’t land a job offer after an interview. This was easily the worst client experience I’ve ever had.
My point in writing this is to exhort parents to entrust their new grads with confidence in their abilities to proceed with their careers. “Hovering” parents do not help their children succeed; they stunt their development, rob them of self-confidence, and diminish their achieving meaningful success by making their own authentic mark in this world!
- supporting new graduates with resumes that land interviews, Stephanie