Categorized | Current Issue, Teen Life

Job Tips For Teens

by Shaina Owens, High School Student

Tired of begging your parents for money? Looking for ways to save for college? Or maybe someone in your family lost a job and you want to help out? Whatever your reason for wanting a job, below are some tips to help jump start your search.

Tip #1: Gather Your Personal Information. This consists of your social security card, driver’s license, or some other form of photo identification. If you’re under sixteen, you may need a special permit signed by your parents. Check with the nearest Texas Workforce Commission office for rules on teen employment.

Tip #2: Create a Resume. It’s not as hard as you think. There’s plenty of templates and samples online. Include your accomplishments, extracurricular activities and any volunteer work you’ve done. This type of information will make you stand out from the other applicants.

Tip #3: Dress to Impress. Although our generation opts for the trendy fashion, job-seekers prefer the conservative style. That doesn’t mean you need to wear a suit and tie. Simply tailor your wardrobe so that its neat, clean, pressed, with no holes, tears or rips, and it modestly covers your body. You may also want to ditch the body piercings and hide the tattoos. Some companies frown on these artsy additions.

Tip #4: A Job Search Requires Research. Networking, scouring the want ads or delving into the internet is a good place to start. Make note of the companies that are hiring, the ones that hold your interest and the ones where you meet the criteria. Don’t settle for the typical teen jobs like fast food restaurants, grocery stores, childcare, or life guard, unless that’s what you want to do. Consider opportunities that line up with your future career choice. If you want to be a doctor, look for a job at a hospital. If you want to be a cosmetologist, check out the local hair salon. Also, utilize your friend and parent connections. Sometimes word of mouth will open an employment door faster than the usual route.

Tip #5: Practice Your Pitch. Job hunting is a competitive environment. You want to do your best and sound your best during an interview. Solicit the help of a friend, sibling or parent for practice Q&A sessions. A candidate who can clearly articulate why they’re the right person for the job will grab an employer’s attention and perhaps give them the hiring edge.

Tip #6: Apply and Interview for Jobs. It’s time to hit the pavement with confidence and persistence. If you’re invited to an interview, put your best foot forward. Smile, maintain eye contact, dress the part, and mind your manners. Employers are becoming more meticulous in their selection process. Because of that, be prepared for lots of questions and possibly more than one interview.

Tip #7: Send a Thank-you Note. After your interview, follow-up with a thank you note. This can be done through snail mail or email. Be professional in the wording and offer to provide additional information if this will help in their decision making. Taking this initiative might push you to the top of the applicant pile.

Tip #8: You got the Job. Yay for you. This is when your work history begins. Arrive on time, be courteous, pay attention, limit the absences, and follow the rules. A good evaluation can lead to wage increases and promotions.

A teen’s first job is a big deal and a big step towards adulthood. Use this opportunity to grow and learn. It’s also pretty awesome to earn a paycheck. I should know. I work for Panera Bread.

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