Job Search Strategies For Teens
Many teenagers in today’s society are giving serious consideration to part-time employment for a variety of reasons.
Some would like more of their “own” money, or they need to help with household expenses, get experiences that relate to future career interests, or save money for college.
Whatever the reason, there are strategies that will make the job search experience a successful one, even for the young person who does not have previous work experience. Good preparation is the key.
- Email address and voice mail: The email address you use in the job search should be professional. Ideally, it should include your name, either email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org, for example. Funny email addresses can make a negative impression on a potential employer. Your outgoing message on your cell phone must be professional, without background noises, music, etc. Your message should include your name and phone number.
- Your on-line reputation: Many companies do Internet searches with applicant names, so make sure your on-line activities will make a good impression. There is no such thing as privacy, ever, when it comes to social media and the Internet.
- References and resumes: Many part-time jobs require you to complete a job application and provide at least three references. Choose people you have known at least one to two years minimum. Family friends, teachers, coaches, etc. are good sources for references regarding your personality and dependability. Any one you plan to use as a reference should be asked in advance for their permission. If you do apply for any jobs, let your references know so they are prepared for a call. It is also good to create a well-written resume that you can forward electronically and provide in hard copy to potential employers.
- Networking: Most people get jobs through people they know. Tell people you know that you are looking for work, whether in person, email, social media, or phone. Get involved with clubs and organizations that will give you the opportunity to meet more people and expand your network.
- Your job field interests: There are many job fields to choose from that hire young people. Recreation programs, tourism spots, theaters, restaurants, retail, childcare, and business services are just a few. Think about your talents, and interests and how they connect to jobs. Are you entrepreneurial? Start your own business, such as lawn care, computer repair, babysitting, tutoring, or pet sitting.
- Research: Go on company websites you are interested in and learn more about the potential employer. There are also many job search websites specifically for people looking for part-time and seasonal work, as well as websites for teens, like teens4hire.org, MyFirstPaycheck.com, and GrooveJob.com.
- Create a personal “pitch”: You should be able to explain who you are, what you are looking for, and what you can do for an employer. This pitch is something you should be prepared to speak and write, and it should be no more than 140-160 characters long. Make it clear, concise, and a personal expression of your confidence and enthusiasm.
There are endless possibilities for a young person who wants to work. Taking a strategic approach to the job search will bring you success.
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