10 Ways to Help Your Teen Get a Job
Your teen getting her or hi first job in a big moment in both of your lives. It marks the teen’s independence and prepares you, the parent, for the day when your baby to be an adult and leave the family nest for good.
There are many steps along the way to helping your teen get a job, whether it is a summer job or a full-time after graduation job. Use this list to get prepared and help your teen prepare for her or his first work experience.
1. Know the Laws
In the United States, there are laws governing the employment of teenagers under the age of 18. Each state is different and it is up to you, the parent, to learn about these laws from your state’s labor department. If your teenager is still in school, she or he may also need need approval from the school and work papers to present to potential employers. Contact your child’s school to find out what needs to be done.
2. Prepare in Advance
Make sure your teen has all the paperwork information he will need to fill out an application. This includes his driver’s license or photo id, social security card, the contact information (address and phone number) for his school, a list of any previous jobs or employment, awards or past volunteer information, and the contact information of three references.
Most retail and fast food jobs do not require a resume, but if your teen wants to break into an office job, she will need a resume. There are plenty of free tools online to help you and your teen create a basic resume with the information you gathered in advanced. Print off several resumes to take along on a job hunting trip and save a copy in Word for emailing to potential employers.
4. Apply for Work
After the first three steps are finished it is time for your teen to start applying for work. Plan on spending a day visiting potential places with your teen. Filling out applications can be overwhelming so be prepared to walk your teen through the process. You will also find that many places no longer provide a paper application and require online applications. This can be an evening project for both you and your teen. Check out the local job boards as well. Show your teen how to apply to all types of jobs, it only takes a day or two, and then he will be ready to do it on his own.
Use your social network to find work for your teens. Talk to friends and co-workers to find entry level jobs for your teen. Hear how they found jobs for their teens and where the good places are for teens to work. You might also find some side jobs for your teen, such as woodchopping, lawn mowing, and window cleaning.
6. Interview Outfit
Discuss interview clothing with your teen and do research online for casual to formal interview outfits. If necessary go shopping for one interview outfit or help your teen rummage through her closet for a good interview outfit. Not all jobs require dressed up attire. For example, wearing a suit and tie would be inappropriate for a landscaping job interview, but a clean pair of jeans, new shoes, and a casual shirt would work for the interview. If your teen is applying for jobs in different types of fields, prepare multiple interview outfits ahead of time.
7. Prepare for an Interview
Show your teen what to expect in an interview. Have him watch interview tips on YouTube and maybe even do a practice run. Ask your teen the types of questions asked in an interview, such as “Why do you want to work for us?” and have him prepare an answer for each question. The more practice he gets before an interview, the less nervous he will be when it comes time to do an actual interview.
8. Don’t Give Up
Getting a job in today’s market is difficult. People with college degrees are having problems finding work, as is everyone else in the job market. Don’t let your teen become discouraged if she doesn’t hear back from her first or second batch of job applications and don’t let her give up. Both of my teenagers had to fill out a lot of applications before they found work. It is part of the process.
9. Check Out Internships
If the job market in your area is beyond pitiful, check out local and online internships for your teen. You teen more than likely won’t make any money during an internship, but he will learn valuable skills that can help him land a job later on.
Have your teen consider volunteer opportunities. Volunteering can help your teen build new, usable skills, help her build a network of people, and pad her resume. Hospitals often have volunteer positions open for teens. My own daughter was a volunteer at a local hospital. Animal shelters are also in constant need of volunteers. Check out the local volunteer opportunities in your area and maybe even join in with your teen as both a way to bond and help better your community.