Finding a good summer job
April 8, 2007 (WLS) -- It's that time for teenagers to start thinking about what kind of job they can get over the summer and how to get it. There are things you can do to give yourself an edge. Peg Hendershot, director of Career Vision, shares some tips for finding a summer job.
Career Vision is a national career planning organization that specializes in helping parents introduce career/educational planning to their children. For more information visit www.careervision.org.
Hendershot contends that being "consistently persistent" is key to landing a summer job. Teens should not be afraid to follow up with hiring managers after completing job applications.
Hendershot's job search tips for teens:
- Define summer job goals: To make as much money as possible? To learn about a particular career/industry? To meet new people?
- Ask neighbors, relatives and family friends about job openings. Be able to describe the kind of work desired in a summer job.
- Ask to speak to the person who does the hiring; if they are not there, find out when they will be on site and then try to arrange an interview.
- Write a resume and hold a practice interview with a parent or friend. This is the best preparation for an interview.
Hendershot also recognizes that a teen's summer work experience can be either a rocky road or smooth sailing. For summer jobs that are less-than-thrilling, Hendershot suggests parents add value to their teen's experience by asking the following questions:
- What does this job provide you? Money for college? Money for car payments and insurance? A fun social environment?
- What are you learning from this summer job that can benefit you in your next job? How to follow instructions? To show up on time? How to handle dissatisfied customers? Math skills in making correct change? Organizational skills?
- If you want to do something different, what are the skills and qualifications needed to be hired for the job? If the teen doesn't know, look up the answers together.
By contrast, summer jobs can be career-orientated and help teens learn interesting new skills, knowledge and tasks. They may be assigned responsibilities that challenge them and fire ambition like no textbook ever could. Hendershot notes that parents can help teens find a career-orientated summer job by:
- Working with the teen to identify potential summer jobs that are in line with his/her interests. For example, a teen working in a warehouse who observes shipping and receiving activities may someday work in the areas of logistics, transportation or supply chain management.
- Encouraging your son or daughter to come up with an idea for a summer job and approach a supervisor or business owner to pitch the idea.
How to Find a Summer or Part-Time Job
To increase your chances of finding a challenging and enjoyable job, first identify your favorite interests/hobbies. Then apply Dr. John Holland's Theory of 6 types of people and 6 kinds of work environments: identify your top 1-3 categories of people and work environments; then look for a part-time job that matches the criteria.
*Note: most jobs combine more than one of the above categories.
CAREER VISION is a leading career planning organization supported by the non-profit Ball Foundation in Glen Ellyn. We excel at helping individuals discover their talents and identify careers that offer them the most success and happiness. We save families time, money and frustration by helping students identify college majors and career options that give them focus, direction and motivation. For information and success stories, visit www.careervision.org. Call us today! 630.469.6270
Career Vision Job Finding Tips
1. No matter what the media says about how tough it is to find a part-time job, remember, you only need to find ONE opening -- for yourself.
2. Part-time job opportunities continue to open up all through the year. Some students start a job, and then for some reason, they quit, creating an opening for you. Sometimes an employer realizes that they need more part-time employees than they originally hired. Be the first person they remember when the need to hire someone unexpectedly comes up. Be the right person for the right job at the right time.
3. Give some thought as to what your goal is for your part-time job: To make as much money as possible? To learn new skills? To work in an environment that holds interest for you? To meet new people?
4. Ask neighbors, relatives, teachers, ministers, coaches, and your friends' parents about openings they might know about, especially if you can name some of the specific places you would particularly enjoy working at, or describe the kinds of work you want to do. This helps to jog their memories better than asking, "Do you know anybody who is hiring part-time help?" which is too vague. (What would be your ideal part-time job? Describe it in some detail to them -- you never know what connection that might spark!)
5. Be persistent -- but not a pest -- in your follow up with hiring managers after you have filled out an application. Make sure they know who you are by name, so when a position opens, they think of you first.
6. Pick up a sample application (or print one out from the internet) and take your time to carefully and accurately complete it. The first time it may take you some time to gather all the information. Keep this as a master copy that you take with you on your visits to stores, restaurants and other employers.
7. Ask to speak to the person who does the hiring; if they are not there, find out when they will be on site, and then come back to introduce yourself to him or her
8. Practice a firm handshake and an introduction of your name, what kind of job you are looking for, and why.
9. The best preparation for a really good interview is to write a resume and then have someone else practice interviewing you.
10. Dress more neatly than you may usually dress when making the rounds of places of employment. You only get once chance to make a positive first impression. It's advisable to remove any pierced jewelry, cover any tattoos, and tone down makeup and hairstyles. Yes, sometimes your appearance can be a hindrance to your getting the job.
11. Use appropriate language in the interview, not the casual slang you use when talking with friends. Before the interview, observe current employees doing their jobs and pick up tips on how to come across in a similar professional and friendly way.
12. Choose three people who know you (and the quality of your work and attitude) as your references. Don't choose family members, but teachers, coaches, past supervisors, neighbors are all fair game. Ask them first before putting their names on an application. Clue them in on where you are applying for jobs.
13. Tap the resources of your college's or community college's career services center.
14. Excellent job-hunting reference book: "What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job Hunters and Career Changers" by Richard Bolles. You don't have to read the whole book. You'll probably find the parts on interviewing and networking most helpful to you.
15. A comprehensive career assessment of your aptitudes, interests, personality and values is worth its weight in gold in terms of knowing yourself and the kind of work in which you will be most successful. It helps you choose courses, college majors, and internships that align with your talents. Call Career Vision today!
Summer Job Statistics
- Summer employment for teens has diminished over the past few years, hitting an all-time low of 36.4 percent in 2004, according to the Current Population Surveys (CPS), a monthly national household survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compared with a July-August average teen employment rate of 45.2 percent in 2000. Last summer, the employment rate rose to 37.7 percent, as an average of 8.5 million 16- to-19-year-olds either worked or searched for a job.
- According to a September 2006 report by the Center for Labor Market Statistics at Northeastern University, teens were more adversely affected than any other demographic group by the national recession of 2001 and the "jobless recovery" of 2002-03. But despite national job boosts since the fall of 2003, teenage employment has not greatly improved. The report cited increased job competition from newer immigrants, older workers ages 55 and over, college students home for the summer and young college graduates unable to obtain jobs in their majors as contributing factors.
- Majority of teens want to work this summer (2007), but businesses are reluctant to hire them, according to a survey conducted by Teens4Hire.org. The survey polled 1,000 teenagers ages 14 to 19 years old. A news release said that when the organization polled businesses that have traditionally hired youths in the past, most were reluctant to say they will have summer openings teens could fill.
Post-College Jobs 2007 Statistics - National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)
- Post-college job pastures are going to get even greener in 2007 -- 17.4 percent greener, to be exact. That's how much the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) predicts college hiring will increase in 2007, making it the fourth straight year that new graduate hiring is expected to grow by a double-digit percentage.
- According to the fall preview of NACE's "Job Outlook 2007" survey, employers cite company growth, retiring employees and high job turnover as key reasons for the rise in hiring.
- And it looks like students with good "people" skills will really benefit when they join the workforce in 2007; among all employment sectors, the service industry is predicted to have the highest overall increase in new college hiring (with jobs in areas such consulting, healthcare and retail).
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