Expert Advice for Parents of Graduates Looking for Jobs

Jan 12, 2021

Has your son or daughter recently graduated from university? You have supported them throughout their academic career from nursery all the way to university.

You encouraged them to get good grades, aim high and to take part in extracurricular activities. As a result of your support and their hard work, they have graduated with a good degree and you’re so proud of them. 

The next step is to get them gainfully employed in a job that they truly enjoy. 

Since graduating, they have been at home, applying for jobs. However, they haven’t had much “luck” yet. If this scenario resonates with you, this post is for you. As a parent, it can be disheartening to watch as your son or daughter struggles to find a job or faces rejection after rejection after interviews, especially when you know that they have so much to offer in the workplace. 

Here are some top tips for parents of unemployed graduates:

#1: Get Professional Careers Advice for your Son or Daughter

As your child grew up there were probably several times in which you sought help for your son or daughter. Maybe you got them a tutor to help them with their A-level Maths, or perhaps you hired an instructor to teach them how to play the violin. 

If they are struggling to find a graduate job, you can hire a graduate career coach to help them. 

There is a massive misconception that career coaching is just for executives or experienced professionals who are looking for a career change; however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone needs a coach. 

everyone needs a coach

Career coaching has both short and long term benefits for graduates. In the short term, it will help them to:

  • Discover their career path – many graduates do struggle to work out what career is right for them. If your son or daughter attained a non-vocational degree, they may not know what jobs to apply for.

  • Identify their employability skills – many graduates are not familiar with the term employability skills and are unaware of the 9 key employability skills that employers look for.

  • Create an achievement-based CV – many graduates find it difficult to create their first graduate CV. Oftentimes if your son or daughter is applying for jobs and not being invited to interviews it is due to their CV not meeting the mark.
  • Work on their personal development – Without the support and guidance of a career coach, many graduates begin to lose direction and their motivation declines the longer they search for a job.

    Here at Graduate Coach, as well as our scheduled coaching sessions, we check-in with grads and are available at any time to offer them expert advice and reassurance. On our full one-to-one coaching programme, we provide our candidates with a structured internship programme to keep them focused on developing their skills.

Some of the long-term benefits of career coaching for graduates includes:

  • Becoming interview confident – the aim of offering career coaching to graduates isn’t just to get their foot on the career ladder. It is to help them to thrive in their role and progress quickly. As you know, learning how to present yourself well is a skill that will open up many opportunities for graduates throughout their entire career.

  • Restored confidence – many graduates who come to us after months of searching for a graduate job with little success have had their confidence knocked. If your son or daughter has begun to show signs of anxiety, stress or sadness due to not being able to find a graduate job, we can help them.

    The period between leaving university and starting their first job can be very difficult, and some graduates find themselves becoming depressed or lacking in motivation. This can be exacerbated if all of their friends are seemingly landing great career opportunities and progressing in life, whilst they feel stuck.

    After just a few sessions with us, they will have a much clearer idea of what their skills are and what roles they would be suited to. 
give your son or daughter a competitive advantage

Getting professional career help for your son or daughter after they have graduated. 

Here at Graduate Coach, we are on a mission to help graduates to turn their degrees into careers. So far, over the past decade, we have helped 5000+ students graduates and career changers to turn their degrees into careers. 

We offer a wide range of career coaching products and services designed to help graduates to land their dream jobs.

What other parents have to say about us

Here is a video with some testimonials from parents who contacted us to provide graduate career coaching services to their sons and daughters. 

Here are some five-star Google Reviews from parents of graduates that we have coached:

We came to The Graduate Coach when my son – who had an impressive CV and had just graduated with a Masters degree – was getting a few ‘near misses’ in his job hunt. He had been job-hunting for 3 months and was looking for a particular type of role, in politics or public policy in this current competitive marketplace.

What impressed me about Chris’s work was the fact that he quickly got a sense of what my son most needed. I immediately sensed the confidence boost it gave him. Chris worked with my son on interview skills – offering him online courses and in-person feedback that would really give him the edge in an interview. Within a week of beginning work with Chris, he was offered an interview and was able to really use what Chris had taught him. We were absolutely delighted when this interview resulted in the coveted role – the ideal position for him – and we’re heading out tonight to celebrate! As my son secured a job quickly, Chris is now going to work with him as a mentor during his first year on the job – thrilled is putting it mildly 🙂

– Jacqui L. 

“I can’t praise Chris and his team highly enough. Our daughter was in a really difficult position with a first-class CV in terms of educational achievement but having no luck at all in the jobs market after taking time out after leaving university.

We spoke to Chris and were immediately impressed with his quick assessment of our daughter’s strengths and the areas she needed to work on and by his strong passion for wanting to help young people into the jobs market.

He was just so knowledgeable and committed and was able to offer a very clear, detailed and practical way forward that gave us every confidence that this would be the best investment we could make. Communication right from the start was excellent and his guidance, advice and support have been first class through the whole process culminating in our daughter securing a job two months ahead of schedule.

We are delighted and so grateful to Chris and the Graduate Coach team who are simply excellent at what they do. They are lovely people too and we can highly recommend them”.

– Tim

“As a parent to a 23-year-old graduate I have to admit to being slightly sceptical when my son approached me with the idea of ‘employing’ Chris to work with him. However, after speaking to Chris – I was most impressed Chris called to speak to me even though my son took it upon himself to predominantly fund his time with Chris – when I admitted my reservations … by the end of the conversation I felt confident that he would help pave the way forward for my son to confidently find a position that was suitable for him and that he was suitable for. Chris gave him the confidence, extra skills, direction and motivation to find a position he is absolutely over the moon about and, one week in, I haven’t heard him so excited about something since he started university. Thank you Chris and the team for your invaluable input, communication with me through the process and helping my boy fulfil his potential”.

Gerry PD 

#2: Understand the nature of the graduate job market 

graduate coding

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

Whilst graduating with a 2:1 or a 1st class degree is a great personal achievement, a degree alone is no longer seen as a differentiator to employers. Your child’s undergraduate degree will simply determine whether they meet the academic requirements of the role. Beyond this, employers will be keen to see the extent to which your son or daughter is able to demonstrate that they have the skills, experience and passion for the job. 

Before 1990, the number of graduates entering the graduate job market equalled the number of graduate job vacancies.

However, now, this is not the case. Your son or daughter will be in direct competition with not only the hundreds of thousands of other graduates who graduated the same year, but also international students who wish to work in the UK and graduates who graduated years ago who are still looking for graduate-level employment. 

The future of the graduate job market is digital

The demand for digital skills is only going to increase, so preparing students and graduates properly for this future job market is vital”

Chris Davies 

The content and delivery of university degree courses have remained largely unchanged over the last 100 years, despite the radical changes in the graduate job market, such as 70% of employers seeking graduates with digital skills.

Due to the overabundance of overqualified graduates who are searching for jobs, employers are actively seeking out the most workplace-ready graduates.

As a result of the competition, graduates face a rigorous, multi-stage application process. Generally, the process involves:

  • Submitting an online application with a CV and cover letter
  • Sitting online tests
  • Completing a telephone or video interview
  • Attending a final stage interview or assessment centre 

We can digitally upskill your son or daughter on our Digital Marketing Internship Programme

#3: A masters degree is not always a wise investment 

If your son or daughter has been finding it difficult to find a graduate job for several months or even years, you may feel compelled to encourage them to pursue further studies to give them something to focus on and to potentially open up career opportunities.

There are many misconceptions about Master’s degrees. Here at Graduate Coach, we advise graduates against doing a Masters degree if they are doing a Master’s because they think it will:

  • Increase their chances of getting a graduate job or boost their employability
  • Help them to progress faster in their career
  • Differentiate you from the competition 

We make an exception for Master’s degrees that are required for specialist roles. Some examples of such courses include Data Science and Economics (for economic consulting roles). However, the vast majority of graduate jobs do not require graduates to have a Master’s degree. So before investing in an expensive postgraduate course for your son or daughter, it is worth bearing in this in mind. 

#4: Do Not Despair 

If you are a parent and your son or daughter has graduated and is struggling to find their first ‘proper’ job do not despair.

Bridging the gap between education and employment is hard, and witnessing your child receive rejection after rejection is even harder. If you are beginning to feel worried about your son or daughter’s career prospects, get in touch with us.

Whether they graduated last summer or three years ago (or more), our professional careers advisors can help. 

What to expect when you contact us

Several parents contact us every week to find out more about how we can help their son or daughter to get a graduate job.

Many of them contact us via the contact form on the contact us page of this website, others contact us via telephone (our number is on the top right of this page).

Either way, one of the first things we will be keen to see is your child’s CV. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfectly up-to-date.

From there, we have a conversation to explain how we can offer your son or daughter tailored support. We then like to speak to your son or daughter and get to know them a bit more by inviting them into our office or by having a video call.

We then send you and your child a coaching document that outlines their skills, the roles we think will suit them and our plan to help them, before proceeding with coaching.

On our 6-stage one-to-one coaching programme, we work with graduates until they secure a graduate-level job.

The Seven Secrets of Success

Land your graduate job

Download your free copy of our guide that reveals the seven secrets of success when it comes to landing a graduate job.

  • Learn seven things you can implement today to enhance your job search strategy.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the graduate job market.
  • Find out how you can find your dream job with guidance from a graduate coach.

Please see our Jobs page for graduate jobs.

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