Below is a letter sent from a concerned parent to a College Career Advisor as his daughter enters her freshman year of college.
Dear College Career Advisors,
I’m writing to you because my daughter has arrived at the University, and I’m hoping she’ll get some guidance from you. She and I agreed that she’d introduce herself to you after she’s settled in. Expect her to be a bit lost in the world of a major university.
As a Workshop Specialist at an urban Career Center, I occasionally see college grads in my workshops. Many of them didn’t take advantage of their college’s career centers and are hearing about the career search for the first time. I don’t want this to be the case with my girl, so I’m reaching out to you now.
My first request is that you impress upon my girl how crucial it is for her to develop her “soft skills.” In a survey by Glassdoor.com, employers feel skills such as, collaboration, verbal and written communications, and analytical thinking, are lacking in college grads.
She’ll need to learn how to write a great résumé of course. On her résumé she’ll need some real-life experience, namely internships. I’m seeing this lack of experience on some of the recent grads’ résumés I critique. If you would emphasize the importance of obtaining internships, it would be much appreciated.
Her interviewing skills will need some polish. I conduct mock interviews for my customers and I’ll tell you, they benefit from them greatly. Would you put her through a mock interview or two? Better yet, have her attend college career fairs and speak with some of the representatives there. There’s nothing like sitting in the hot seat.
Many of my customers balk at the idea of informational meetings, despite my impressing upon them the importance of gathering information; building their network; and, who knows, perhaps striking it lucky as the company is thinking of hiring. I want my daughter to go on as many informational meetings as possible.
She needs to learn about LinkedIn. Even though I teach LinkedIn, she’s never taken an interest in it. Why would I expect her to? Most high school students don’t even know about this platform; they’re wrapped up in Facebook and Twitter. Please emphasize the value of LinkedIn as an online networking application. Show her how she can reach out to the alums from the University.
One last thing and perhaps most important. Please suggest my daughter attend any networking events at the University and other venues. I think I read of a student networking group at the University that meets bi-monthly. This would be a great step in getting her to meet potential long-term contacts. Impress upon her that she should start developing her network before she needs it.
Thank you in advance for your consideration Your attention to my daughter’s success is greatly appreciated.
A Concerned Dad
Bob, This was a great post about things you would want your daughter to know. I would love to knock some ideas around with you on what you find is most successful to teach to your participants in your workshop. -Gregg