Helicopter Parents Writing Kids Resumes

Posted on November 8, 2006

A lot of people entering the workforce probably seek resume writing advice from adults including their parents but a CNN news story suggests that some parents, known as helicopter parents, may be taking the idea of helping their kids find a job a little too far.

Some parents are writing their college-age kids' resumes. Others are acting as their children's "representatives," hounding college career counselors, showing up at job fairs and sometimes going as far as calling employers to ask why their son or daughter didn't get a job.

It's the next phase in helicopter parenting, a term coined for those who have hovered over their children's lives from kindergarten to college. Now they are inserting themselves into their kids' job search -- and school officials and employers say it's a problem that may be hampering some young people's careers.

"It has now reached epidemic proportions," says Michael Ellis, director of career and life education at Delaware Valley College, a small, private school in Doylestown, Pa.

At the school's annual job fair last year, he says, one father accompanied his daughter, handed out her resume and answered most of the questions the recruiters were asking the young woman. Even more often, he receives calls from parents, only to find out later that their soon-to-be college grad was sitting next to the parent, quietly listening.

Some kids need an extra push to get started on a career but helicopter parents need to learn when it is wrong to hover. Most employers would prefer to interview the potential employee and not the potential employee's parents.

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