How to get a job a teenagers guide to employment

I have been a service industry manager for over 10 years. I have seen some of the most put together applicants and also some of the worst. My favorites are the teen trying to get their first job. This hub is going to try and give your teen some helpful hints on getting a job.

One of the most important things they need to understand is this: Dress the part. I have had some come in with slippers on. To come to an interview or to drop off your application with out being professional is very disrespectful. Do your research on what type of business you are applying for. The minimum you should be wearing is slacks, a button up shirt and dress shoes. Some businesses you should wear a tie. Look at what the uniform is. If they are wearing ties wear a tie. I got to the point of telling one applicant to return when they could show me how serious they were in wanting the job.

When turning in an application, don't be afraid to ask for a manager. If they are busy the person at the front will tell you. Asking for a manager gets you face time with them and shows your serious. It also lets the manager see your face. When they go to make a decision they will remember you a little more. But again be dressed right when dropping off the application. You could be remembered as the one with the slippers. Also ensure you application is completely filled out and legible. For first time job hunters it is acceptable to put your babysitting experience, your volunteer experience or jobs you have done for you family for your allowance. Show you can take on responsibility and are hardworking. Don't leave the experience area blank just because you have not had a paying job.

At the interview ensure you are early. 15 minutes early is the perfect time to show up. This lets you calm your nerves a bit and gives you time to soak in the atmosphere of the business. When interviewing make sure to speak clearly and be yourself. The manager is looking for your confidence and how you handle the interview. Try to keep on the answer for the questions they ask. You don't have to give every detail of your life. Saying too much and not saying enough can hurt your chances. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the business or job. This shows your interest in the job.

Follow up is highly important. Make sure before leaving the interview you get a number and name to call. Wait at least two days before calling to see the status on your application. By doing this you are telling the manager you care and really want the job. It is also important to realize you need to call after dropping off your application. Keeping you name fresh in the managers mind will increase the chances of obtaining the job.

Some things to do to help you get ready for your first interview are:

  1. Practice with a parent - By having your parent ask you questions you will gain confidence for when you are with the interviewer.
  2. Write out your experiences - One question you will be asked is how your other jobs or experiences helped you. By writing out what you did or learned at each of your experiences will help you to communicate that to the interviewer
  3. Look in the mirror - Try talking and answering the questions in a mirror. You will see how you look and come across to the interviewer

Some great first jobs that I would recommend to any teen are:

  1. Restaurants - This is a great place for a first job. Many of the positions give you tips which can be paid out daily in the form of cash. Moving up is fairly easy for those that work hard.
  2. Coffee Shops - This is a fun environment that pays well and generally gives tips weekly. This is a great first time job.
  3. Nurseries - Local nurseries can be a great first time job. The dirty hard work can be very educating for a teen. You also get to learn about landscaping and local plants.

  4. Retail - This can be a good first job as they teach you how to merchandise. Plus the discounts can be good.

  5. Grocery Stores - Starting out as a bagger can be a great job. Moving up can be good for those that work hard

The last lesson to learn is that you can not walk into any business and think you will be at the top fast. I have seen a lot of teens come into restaurants wanting to be servers with in a month or two. This is not an acceptable expectation. It takes hard work and you have to prove yourself. As a manager I am looking to see how my employees handle small, not glamorous tasks. I want to see that they understand that every position is important. Everyone has to work from the bottom up. Trust me on this one, if you work hard at your job and do the best you can, it will be rewarded. Listen to the feedback your supervisors give you. This will tell you where you stand and how your doing. If they give feedback you need to look at what you are doing and figure a way out on how to improve.

Working is not easy. It comes with sacrifice and determination. If you learn to work hard and take on things no one else wants to do, then you will be rewarded. I look for the employees that sacrifice for the business. I look for the ones that don't try and cover half their shifts so they can hang out with friends. I look for the ones that cover everyone's shifts. This tells me they want a job. This tells me they care about the business. When you choose to get a job make sure that is what you want. It needs to be a priority for you. Let you manager know way in advance about upcoming dances and events at school. Don't wait till a week or two out. You generally know way in advance. Show you care.

Parents, this part is for you. Don't let them work unless you are going to support it. If they can't handle school, a job and a social life then don't let them work. It is so unprofessional for you to remove your teen from a job because they couldn't handle it. I have had many parents tell their teen they can't work anymore. You need to be just as committed to them working as they are. You need to know we run a business and you work for a business. Would your business be able to function if the employees were being taken away with out warning? So please make sure they can handle the added responsibility. Also you need to realize that planning family events they may have to work. I have had parents get upset because little johnny had to work on the family get together. If your son or daughter is working that is a responsibility you need to support. If they think it is ok for them to skip work for a family event then you are not teaching them responsibility. One thing I see as a common denominator in most teens today is a sense of entitlement. This comes from us telling them that skipping work to play is ok.

Well I hope some of my experiences can help your teen have a better handle on the job market. It is a huge decision to get a job for a teen. With proper preparation and understanding it can be a great lesson in life.

Please leave your comments or ideas so we can improve our hub.


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