Tips for Teens Looking for a Summer Job


It’s summer and that means a large number of teens are entering the workforce, many for the first time. 

Learning how to present and interview for a job is not something that someone just automatically knows, it is learned. Soft skills are one of the most noted absences from young people interviewing and in the workforce. Schools at one time had curriculum and classes that taught these skills, but now, these skills need to be taught at home. A job interview is the first step in acquiring a summer job. Doing well in the interview is important, especially if the area or job a teen wants is in high demand.

The following are things teens need to know before going out to the interview:

  • What to wear
    • Some employers make allowances for young/summer workers but teens need to present themselves appropriately. Unacceptable clothing for an interview is low-cut tops/ muscle shirts, shorts, pants that do not fit (too big, too small), flip flops, caps.
  • How to prepare
    • Have your teen research the place they want to work and what is expected of them in the job they apply for. Knowing the answers to the questions asked is a must. Also be ready for other interviews questions (strengths/ weaknesses, future goals, why you want the job, why you should be the one hired).
    • Use school experiences with leadership/ organization/ etc. when talking about strengths.
  • What to bring
    •  If you can bring a short resume of sorts this is great. Include references, list of honors/awards/projects.
  • Fill out the application completely and correctly
    • Be sure and write legibly, with good grammar and spelling.
  • Questions to ask
    • Questions about the job itself and the company are always appreciated by an employer. Ask about the number of hours will work, days will work, etc. Always a good question to ask is “what will I need to do to be successful in this job”.
  • Leave gum at home
    •  If you do show up with gum in your mouth dispose of it properly before going into the interview.
  • What to do after the interview
    • Follow up with a thank you note or email. During this thank you reiterate your interest in the job. Be sure and include your contact info.

Parenting Challenge: Parents avoid the temptation to call an employer on your child’s behalf. Help them job hunt, research potential jobs but leave it up to them to actually “get” the job.  

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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