5 Career Tips for Job-Seeking Teens
Maybe you’re tired of hearing Mom or Dad tell you to remove your bum from the couch and go do something useful. Perhaps you’re fed up with staying at home with your little brother while your friends with jobs have money to catch the newest box office hits each weekend. It could be that you just realized you should probably start saving up to attend the school of your dreams. Whatever the reason may be, you’ve decided it’s time for you to get a job. As a first-time job-seeker, there are some important things for you to know.
Here are just a few career tips for teens that will help set you on a successful path to landing a job.
1. Walk the walk, and talk the talk.
Interviewing skills are crucial. You have one chance to make a stellar first impression, and it all starts before you even step foot in the door. Be confident, speak clearly, break out the classy pair of shoes collecting dust in the back of your closet, give a firm handshake, and for goodness sake DO NOT look at the floor the entire time you are speaking or being interviewed. Practice makes perfect. Read up on more do’s and don’ts that will help prepare you for all of your interviewing victories ahead.
2. DO NOT put a ring on it!
Technology is a double-edged sword. It warrants some really fun features and yet yields some problematic liabilities, too. From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to SnapChat, the world is more connected than ever. Which can be great for all the networking that sometimes helps link you to the job of your dreams, but that same cyber-existence can also count you out of that job. That being said, practice smart social media etiquette. Set secure passwords and privacy settings. Be responsible about how you depict yourself via the internet. And while you’re at it, do yourself the favor of nixing the Katy Perry ringtone on your cell phone, and record a more professional voicemail to replace your current all-hashtags memo. #quickestwaynottogetacallback #trustme.
3. The two “R’s”.
Resume and references. The two most important job-seeking resources you should begin compiling as soon as, well, yesterday. In the competitive world we live in today, it benefits you to have people who stand by your qualities, skills, and character. These people will make fantastic references, and it’s a plus if they happen to have a connection to the job for which you are applying. It’s equally important for you to know what sets you apart from everyone else who might be applying for the same position as you. If you haven’t thought about doing some volunteer work or community service, it may not be a bad idea to start. Employers are looking for those details that make you stand out among others. Visit www.volunteermatch.org to search for volunteer opportunities near you.
4. Honesty is the best policy.
Treat each job application like you would your own biography. It’s ALWAYS best to tell the truth and include authentic information about yourself. Remember that your application, for many employers, is what will help them decided whether or not they want to interview you. Take the time to read up on the ins and outs of successfully completing job applications.
And for the most important tip of all, stated perfectly by Oscar Wilde….
5. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
Embrace who you are and what you have to offer. Know your own strengths AND weaknesses– we all have them! If you have a knack for helping others, consider applying for that retail or waitressing job you saw advertised in the local paper. Prefer to hang behind the scenes? That’s okay too! The industry needs stockroom employees just as much as the next bag boy at the grocery store. It’s an evolving world with endless opportunities for individuals of various skillsets. Your responsibility as a new job-seeker is to own and accentuate your unique abilities. If you need some help determining which jobs best fit your personality and talents, take this quick career quiz for a few suggestions.