This year’s summer job search is more competitive than ever, so we have
top-tier corporate advice to help your teen land that summer job.
As teenagers across the country begin to ramp up their search to find a job
and generate income for extracurricular activities, car insurance, college
funds and spending money, they might discover the odds are stacked
against them. A recovering economy can present challenges to any
applicant, however younger workers might be particularly disadvantaged
when applying for positions along with more experienced workers that are
willing to consider a lesser salary. As frustrating as the situation may be,
deciding to sit the summer out can be a major missed opportunity to
develop much needed skills.
Here are a few tips to help your teen secure a position:
Practice Makes Perfect
Whether your teenager already has work experience or not, creating an
attractive resume and reviewing proper interviewing techniques are a great
idea to gear up for the real thing. Teens can highlight a variety of school,
volunteer or extracurricular activities and brainstorm on what avenues they
might be interested in pursuing in the future. Help them set specific goals
about what they want to achieve and how much they can intend to earn.
Have References, Will Travel
Although previous employers are the ideal references, teachers, church
leaders, coaches and other adults that can assure work ethic and
responsibility are ideal to provide for any employer. Adding to a resume
that your teen is willing to travel and has their own transportation can be
useful for certain positions as well and give them an added advantage.
Seize the Season
Classic options for teens to consider are traditional seasonal jobs that are
only open for a few months but can offer a crash course of experience:
summer camps, amusement parks, lifeguarding and ski resorts turned
summer playgrounds are always a good bet. Usually, only an online
application is required along with a photo ID to get the process started.
Check up on Healthcare
Oftentimes, local hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and retirement
communities will advertise entry-level positions that don’t require much
experience (if any at all) and could be a perfect foot-in-the-door for teens.
A position that begins by filing and sorting through medical documents in
the back office can quickly lead to data entry, customer service or medical
Stay in School
One consideration for teens looking to swim against the current is to
search for opportunities that offer additional summer training through
online courses or specialized lessons focused on computer tutorials. An
applicant with proven proficiency in MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel or Access
would have a major advantage for sought after positions and many of these
useful lessons can be found online for little or no cost.
Opt for an Internship
Typically reserved for college students, some internship programs are
designed specifically for students who are still in high school and
participating in a summer internship program can be the most viable and
meaningful way to become educated about what careers might be available
in the future. Many internships (think public libraries, aquariums, city and
county offices, law firms, real estate firms, not-for-profit companies or
programs in the government sector) are designed to provide valuable on
the job training for individuals who are just beginning to explore their
options. Hourly rates can be low, but if experience is the goal, a
professional internship program is tough to beat.
Try for Temp Work
Any recruiting firm that specializes in providing temporary workers will be
consistently looking for professional candidates to consider. While the
majority of their clients will request workers that are 18 years or older,
there are often large projects or special assignments that could allow for
younger applicants. Check out the reputable temporary agencies in your
area and request to fill out an application in person or meet with a recruiter
to discuss what options may be available.
Roll up Your Sleeves
It’s important for teens to remember that when you start at the beginning,
you often start at the bottom. Positions will always be available for job
seekers of any age, if you are willing to get your hands dirty and clear
dishes, clean hotel rooms and haul out the trash. There are also a variety
of outdoor manual labor options for teens that have an interest in learning
construction and are willing to start in the cleanup crew and learn the ropes
As with any job search, the most important key to success is networking,
so encourage your teen to define their goals, create a resume and begin
talking to family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances about any
opportunities that might be available to them. The job skills you learn as a
teen can often propel you to great heights in the future!
Carly Hazen is a Director of Recruitment for Prince, Perelson & Associates
and works with top privately-held and public companies in financial
services, global manufacturing, technology, legal and administration. Carly
is a regular guest on KSL News Radio and a contributor on KSL Studio 5.