Disturbing facts about parents meddling in the job search

Recently, I’ve seen some disturbing survey findings about what adult children and their parents think is appropriate in terms of parental help in the job hunt.

From research done by Gary Insch, Joyce Heames and Nancy McIntyre at the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University:

  • Nearly 70% of students found it “somewhat” or “very appropriate” to receive help from their parents when writing a resume or a cover letter.
  • 20% thought it was fine to have their parents contact a prospective employer.

And according to a poll of employers by Michigan State University (this one is a bit dated, as it comes from 2007, but I suspect the trend is for parental involvement to be increasing rather than decreasing):

  • 40% of employers had dealt with parents contacting the company to obtain information
  • 31% had dealt with parents submitting resumes on behalf of their children
  • 15% had dealt with parents complaining if the company did not hire their child
  • 12% had dealt with parents trying to negotiate their children’s salary and benefits
  • 4% had seen parents attend their children’s job interviews!

As part of the survey, one employer even felt compelled to offer the following advice to parents: “Please tell your student that you have submitted a resume to a company. We have called a student from our resume pool only to find they did not know anything about our company and were not interested in a position with us.”

A note from the report to those parents who think they are helping by being directly involved in their adult children’s job search: “Many [employers] responded that they take parental presence in the job search as a negative and would like to see less parental ‘interference.’”

If you’re looking for legitimately helpful ways to assist your adult children in the job hunt, check out my tips in the article How to Help Adult Children Living at Home Find a Job.