Guest Author - Dianne Walker
In todayís job market, adults are snagging all the jobs formally held by teenagers. Retail, fast food and summer park jobs were the first places that teens applied in order to make money. Today, they are being nudged out by experienced adult workers who are also desperate for jobs. Teens should not give up, however, itís a good time to learn job hunting skills.
Prepare a resume and cover letter. Chances are you may not have a lot of experience to put on a resume just yet, but be sure to tell the truth. Adults may tell you to include the information you find from the job ad into your resume, but only do so if you have actually performed the tasks. If a job asks for cashier experience and you lie, it will be discovered soon enough and you may be out of a job.
No experience to include on your resume? Talk about your afterschool activities. If you donít participate in afterschool activities, you may need to take a step back from your job hunting activities. Find an organization to volunteer for six months or longer. Volunteering will show that you are committed, reliable and developing important job related skills. These days it is almost impossible to find a job without experience. Volunteering will not only help you learn valuable job skills, but it will also help you to network with others who may be hiring. Once they see what a great job you do, you may find yourself with an unexpected offer.
Expand your job search. Everyone is looking for work in the malls, which is probably due to the ease of transportation. Venture out from the well-worn paths. The little shop around the corner with the hand-written help wanted sign may be easier to get a job.
Plan ahead. Include the basics in your job search, including knowing what times you are available and can easily get to and from work, preferably without needing to rely on your parents. This is a perfect time to show youíre growing up by not relying on your parents to get you to and from work on time. Remember employers are hiring you, not your parents.
Learn patience. Just because you want a job, itís not going to fall into your lap or happen overnight. You need to understand that it is a tough market and the only thing that will pay off is patience and persistence. Some teens become very despondent when they are not getting calls back, realize itís not really about you, itís what you can offer an employer.