guiding the career in public relations

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Helicopter Parents Don’t Help Job Search

January 3rd, 2009 · 4 Comments

Q.  I am completing my junior year in college by studying in Italy for a semester.  My parents fear I’ll be passed over for summer jobs by the time I get home in late April so they have started contacting prospective employers on my behalf.   I cringed at first, but they seem determined.  Is this a good idea?   -CB

A.  It’s only a slightly good idea if they personally know the people they are contacting.  Blind calls by your parents to prospective employers, no matter how compelling their pitch, are not recommended.  Employers will simply question your interest and initiative since you still could and should initiate contact via email from Italy.  In addition, you can underscore your desire to pursue a PR career by doing something that sets your semester abroad apart from others, and can be shared with prospective employers.  Perhaps write travel or study-related blog posts, provide PR help to a local nonprofit organization or write a case study about your experience. 

Tags: Job Search · Q&As

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kyle Rosenbaum // Jan 12, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Would you allow your best friend or best roommate to make a prospective job-call on your behalf? Think about the first impression you want on that employer’s mind.

  • 2 Buying Your Way Into an Internship // Feb 6, 2009 at 7:53 am

    […] the bright young woman landed a job on her own–at $15 an hour.  This is worse than helicopter parents who contact prospective employers on behalf of their […]

  • 3 Culpwrit // Mar 17, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Culpwrit: Great advice about how to properly use parents in a job search is provided by USC’s Career Planning & Placement Center at:

  • 4 Enlist Parents in Your Job Search // Jul 3, 2009 at 9:47 am

    […] Take the offensive.  Give them roles in your job search.  Although I have previously criticized helicopter parents, the current job market provides an opportunity to properly engage them in job […]

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