Help Your Teen Find the Right Summer Job
During the Great Recession, teens faced stiff competition for summer jobs from older, more experienced workers who were happy to take any job just to be getting a regular paycheck. Now that the economy has stabilized and most mature workers are back to jobs more in line with their qualifications, the market for teen summer jobs is looking better than it has in years.
Prepare a Resume – Though many part-time summer jobs don’t require it, preparing a resume is an important step in the job-hunting process. It will help your teen think critically about their skills and experience. And putting together a resume every summer is great practice for future job hunts. Make sure they include all work experience, including volunteering, and even odd jobs like babysitting or mowing lawns – anything that demonstrates they are responsible and willing to work. Be sure the finished product is free of any spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and typos.
Review Social Media – It’s a fact of life that prospective employers will look through applicants’ social media accounts. Go through your teens’ accounts with them and have them remove anything that could cause prospective employers to get the wrong impression. It’s a good opportunity to remind young people that what they post on social media now will follow them for years to come, and could even be a factor in college admission and post-collegiate employment decisions.
Research the Opportunities – Many teens will submit applications all over town and take the first job they’re offered. While that willingness to work is admirable, it might not turn out well for your teen or the employer if the position isn’t a good match. Have your teen research the positions they’re interested in, find out what the job duties and expectations are, and make informed decisions about where to apply.
Rehearse the Interview – While it might feel a little awkward, role-playing the interview with your teen will help them nail it when they go through the real thing. Make sure to talk about the importance of a firm handshake, steady eye contact, good posture and being well-groomed. Help your teen come up with some insightful questions about the position, and remind them that asking about pay rates, breaks and time off are likely to raise a red flag for employers.
Create a Plan to Save – Nothing teaches teens the value of a dollar better than earning it themselves – and they’re not going to want all that hard work go to waste by spending every last dime. Talk to your teen about how about what they plan to do with their earnings and encourage savings to be a part of that plan. Whether it’s contributing a portion to an existing savings account, adding to a college fund or putting the bulk of it toward a larger goal, such as buying a car, help your teen come up with a plan to make their money work for them.