Hit the pavement with your teen to help them get a feel for job searching. Be prepared to go back home and help the teen fill out an online application if the teen is trying to work at a chain store or chain restaurant. Once the job search starts, or job offers come in, be prepared to discuss work hours and who will get the car and when. Familiarize yourself and your teen with the minimum wage law in your state, as well as the child labor laws.
Start by contacting the recreation department in your town or city. Even in the smallest towns, the recreation department will be looking for summer help with their sports programs, pools, parks and special events. When looking for a recreation job in your town, start as early as possible so you and your teen do not miss any application deadlines.
Contact local organizations that help teens find jobs. These organizations may be run by non-profit youth groups. They provide applications and registration for interested teens, who will be contacted first for the listed jobs.
Talk to everyone you know, wherever you go, when your teen needs a job. Tell your friends at work, talk to the people you see at the gym and strike up a conversation with the local coffee shop and grocery store clerks. Adults are in a better position to network for teens, and have more of a chance of finding out about available positions than they do.
Show teens how they need to dress and present themselves when they are looking for a job or when they are going to an interview. Advise them to remove any piercings, to keep hair neat and to wear clean clothes. Help them pick a job searching or interview outfit that looks good, is casual and also age-appropriate.
Set up mock interviews with the teen to help the teen be prepared. Discuss their qualifications to work at different jobs, from their math skills for cashier jobs, or any CPR training they may have had if they will be working with children. Part of the preparation could also involve writing up a skills-based resume. (See Resources)
- Do not pay anyone to help you find a job for your teen.
- Do not expect that the teen’s summer job opportunities will match their real career goals.