If you own a small business and want to mentor your employees, there are plenty of ways to help young people build their careers, enhance their chances for long-term success, and give you their very best work. But how can entrepreneurs get the ball rolling and serve as mentors to their workers? Here are a few of the most effective kinds of help you can offer. Each one speaks for itself and reveals why independent business owners are the best mentors.

Cosign on a Student Loan

If you have an employee who wants to attend college while working but can't swing the finances, consider being a cosigner. Not only will the applicant have a much better chance of approval, but the interest rate could be significantly lower. In fact, cosigning is the single most effective way to help someone you mentor save money over the life of the loan. That's just one reason Earnest student loans with a cosigner are an ideal choice for young adults who need money for college and are lucky enough to have a cosigner. Don't assume that your prized employees have other financial resources because many don't.

Help with Resumes and Cover Letters

It's sad but true in that most young people don't really have a clue about resumes or cover letters. Working adults who operate their own companies are in a perfect position to help the people they mentor with resume and cover letter writing. But, instead of just taking over the entire chore and doing it all from scratch, let the young person take the first stab at both documents. Then, use your finest editing eyes to walk through the first draft with them, being sure to make relevant corrections and explain each one.

Give Advice About Choice of Classes and Majors

Sometimes, the most beneficial thing a mentor can do is give advice, whether it’s about business management or a road map for college. That's particularly true when young workers try to decide which courses to choose for their first year of college. Most young people have only a foggy notion about which classes and majors are most valuable from a career standpoint. You can explore college websites with them and guide their hand as they select the first few courses.

Offer to Pay for CEUs

One of the most popular ways to serve as both a mentor and career advisor to the people who work for you is to pay for their CEU credits. Many professions have continuing education requirements, but employers are not always obligated to cover the expense. One of the main benefits of this strategy is that both you and the worker get something out of the arrangement. They earn valuable CEU credits, and you get a more educated employee.

Write Letters of Recommendation

There's a time-honored tradition for mentors in the business world, and it's related to writing letters of recommendation. Be careful to include important details in the letters, like why you think the person would make a good student, employee, etc. If they're leaving your employ to move onto the next stage of their career or a full-time graduate degree program, be specific when describing their skills and talents.