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Last Updated on September 5, 2018 by Diane Hoffmaster
Is your teenager struggling to find a job? While a lot of the responsibility is on them when it comes to employment, there are things you can do to help teens who are looking for work. Not sure how you as a parent can help? Well, if you are wondering what to do for teens who need help with getting a job, I thought I would share a few easy suggestions!
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Teen Employment: Then vs Now
When I was a teen, I walked into the grocery store at the age of 15 and was hired immediately. I had been babysitting and delivering newspapers for years. I had absolutely no trouble finding employment the minute I started looking for it.
Well, fast forward 30 years and now we live in a major metropolitan area. There are thousands and probably hundreds of thousands of teens out looking for jobs. Not to mention all the unemployed adults around here. Hundreds of people put in applications at grocery stores, Starbucks, and fast food restaurants for every open position. The ease of online applications has made it easier for people to throw out dozens of applications in just a few hours.
At What Age Can Teens Get a Job?
Laws for teen employment vary by state. At 15, many are allowed to work in fast food or grocery stores. By 16, teens in every state are eligible to work, however, employers may be hesitant to hire them at that age.
I have inquired at multiple places near me that require a person to be 18 before they hire them. Employee insurance is cheaper at 18 than for a minor but come on.... a 16-year-old can sit behind the desk at an auto parts store just fine. Unfortunately, many places won't budge on their 18-year-old mandate.
What To Do for Teens Who Need Help with Getting a Job
If you have a teen who is eager to work, you can help them find a job without actually going door to door with them. Here are a few tips that may help when they need help with getting a job.
Think Outside the Box
If you ware wondering what to do for teens who need help getting a job, the first thing to do is get creative. With hundreds of teens out looking for work, yours needs to stand out above the rest. You may also need to encourage your teen to create the job they want to work at! A quick side hustle can earn them some much-needed cash and turn their skills, creativity, and passion into a paycheck without needing to apply for anything at all.
For jobs like yard work and babysitting, word of mouth is key. However, your teen can take employment even further. Maybe they would make a great virtual assistant or have great video editing skills that can be turned into a teen job.
Help your teen make a resume
Most jobs don't require a resume, however, the added effort may impress a future employer. When teens fill out an online application and hit' 'submit' they are now one of a hundred or so teenagers who has his application floating around on a store's employment database. There is absolutely nothing to help distinguish your teen from anyone else.
Make up a resume that includes work, school, internship, extracurricular, and volunteer activities. Deliver that to the actual store manager at the location they are interested in working at. Will it help? Who knows. But it can't hurt, right?
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Walk them through the application process
The online application process can be challenging. There are questions about availability, requests for a social security number (which they may not know yet), and a ton of other questions that they need guidance on. For example, my son had zero work experience. But when he filled out his application for the grocery store, for relevant experience I told him put down that we volunteer once a month stocking shelves at our local food bank. He might not have thought of that by himself. Of course, we are still waiting on the call back from the grocery stores....
Coach them with Sample Questions
Teens are not always outgoing or confident. It can be challenging to look someone in the eye, shake hands and answer personal questions without a little bit of coaching. Some kids are better at personal interactions than others but this is definitely one many need some work on. Review these student job interview questions with your teen before their first interview.
Help them pick out a decent outfit
While I didn't buy my kid a pinstriped suit to wear, we did pick up a few new collared shirts. Don't let your teen show up for a potential job in ripped jeans and a stained t-shirt. It may be time to do a little bit of shopping in order to put your teen's best foot forward during job interviews.
This is hard for teens since many don't use phones for anything but texting. Encourage them to call the location and speak to the manager. A quick thank you for your time may go a long way towards making your teen stand out.
Spread the word for them
If you have a community bulletin board, keep your eyes peeled for job opportunities for your child. You never know when you might stumble across a vacancy that your teen could fill.
I really and truly never thought that my kids would need help with getting a job. While I want them to have enough time for school work, I also want them to save money for college. Since getting a job can be so challenging, a helpful hand from you may be a big help!
Have any other tips for teens who need help with getting a job?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.