Ask an Expert: Four Tips for Teens Looking to Land a Summer Job
Teens who have the opportunity to earn money and develop good work habits now will receive great payoffs when applying for educational or employment opportunities in the future.
According to Renee Ward, founder of www.Teens4Hire.org, “We have millions of teens who will have never had a job by the time they are age 20…. I believe if they never have the fulfillment of a job, they’ll be frustrated and that becomes perpetuating.”
A review of online articles addressing employment for teens reveals four common tips for landing a job.
1. Start early. This is the most often-mentioned tip. Most employers know how much additional help they will need over the summer months by the end of April. Few of them want to wait until school is out to start interviewing potential employees.
2. Stop by the business. While many businesses post positions online, others prefer to post a job announcement on the door. It is worth the effort to stop by in person. Go to the business prepared to share ideas on how you could be an asset to the company. Some employers may find a place for you simply based on your willingness to “pound the pavement.”
3. Put your best foot forward. Shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops will generally not make the best impression to a potential employer. Though Sunday best is not required to interview for most part-time jobs, a clean, neat appearance with modest clothing is a must. Speaking with respect, good manners and good language skills to a potential employer shows that you are mature and can communicate well.
4. Cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurship. Is there a service you can offer? Ideas include teaching lessons, setting up smart phones for senior citizens, running errands for home-bound or busy adults, doing house or yard work, providing child or elder care, event and party planning, walking and/or caring for pets, washing and detailing cars, washing windows or painting. Creativity can pay off. And even if some jobs pay little or nothing, having a job to add to a resume may give you the edge for future openings.
Additional places for teen job seekers to check include:
* Parks, recreation areas, campgrounds, day and summer camps, swimming pools and golf courses
* Concession areas for sporting events
* Hotels, resorts, museums and other tourist-related destinations
* Fast food and casual dining restaurants including ice cream parlors and juice retailers
* Moving and packing companies
Teens may resent having to work early mornings, late nights or weekends during the summer, but if they adhere to a schedule, have a good work ethic and save part of what they earn, they will gain important skills that will help throughout their lives.
By: Kathy Riggs, Utah State University Extension family and consumer sciences professor, email@example.com, 435-586-8132