Job search 101: Helping your teen find employment

Finding a job in today's economy is difficult enough for adults. For teens it is becoming more and more difficult. Here are five tips to help teens find a job.

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  • For many teens finding a summer job is a rite of passage. For others it is a necessity to earn money for college, clothes or entertainment. However, today’s economy often makes it difficult to find employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about 25% of teens have jobs. Here are some tips to help teens find a job.

  • Pound the pavement

  • Jobs are scarce and so you are going to have to apply at a lot of different places before you find one. Get as many applications in at as many places as you can. Going in person also allows managers meet you and see how interested you are in the job versus only applying on line.

  • Don’t expect to find the “perfect” job

  • Chances are you will not find the perfect job. For one, as a teen, you are likely young and inexperienced. What you need is to find a job that will help you learn valuable skills. Take the opportunities that are available to you and use them to help build your resume. Our oldest daughter didn’t want to apply for a job at the new pizza place opening near our home. But she did anyway, and they hired her. When she returned from college the following she ended up going back to work for them. It wasn’t what she really wanted to do, but it was a paying job and taught her a lot about working.

  • Visit a job search website

  • www.jobsearch.about.com/cs/justforstudents/a/teenjobs.htm
  • Check with school guidance administrators

  • Oftentimes businesses, camps, and recreation centers will notify coaches, teachers and guidance offices of job opportunities for teens. Our second daughter was told of a job opportunity as a camp counselor for summer camp by her track coach.

  • Spread the Word

  • Tell everyone you know you are looking for a job. When I was a teen I told a friend I was looking. Her brother was a manager of a clothing store. She knew he was looking for employees so I went and applied. It was a great summer job.

  • Start Your Own Business

  • Creating your own opportunity may be the best shot at earning some money. Last summer when our second daughter was looking for a job, she couldn’t seem to find one. She decided to send out an email to people we knew stating she was starting a babysitting business. She had 3-4 jobs every week, and one turned into a regular commitment. Other examples of personal businesses for teens would be lawn care, painting, pet care or car detailing. Make a list of your skills, abilities and interests and develop your own plan. When my husband was young he walked his neighborhood and signed his neighbors up for lawn service.

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  • Finding a job as a teen may not be easy. It may take a lot of time and effort. But if teens are persistent, willing and creative they can find an opportunity to earn money, learn skills, and gain more independence.

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Robyn Carr graduated in English and is the mother of five and grandmother to two adorable granddaughters. She currently lives in Windermere, FL.  

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