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Summer Jobs for High Schoolers: 5 Tips for Landing a Job

It’s not so easy to get summer work these days. While the Great Recession is over, the fact is that what were once high school summer jobs are now being scooped up by adults. Still, teenagers who are persistent and well prepared can land a summer job. Here are our top five tips for summer job seekers.

Summer Jobs for High Schoolers: Tips for Getting the Offer

1. Don’t be too picky

Sure, it would be great to nab the “cool” job at the local coffeehouse, but the fact is that those jobs are few and far between. If your teenager really wants a paid job, then encourage her to be open to a range of possibilities.

2. Go beyond the classifieds

The classifieds are worth checking out, but so is knocking on doors and asking to fill out applications. Also encourage your teenager to work his network by letting friends and family know he’s open to all kinds of summer work.

3. Be professional

Remind your teenager that first impressions matter. Dress appropriately for interviews—or even when stopping in to ask for applications—and be pleasant and polite. “Employers can train you to do what they want,” says career strategist Larry Goldsmith. “They can’t train you to be pleasant.”

4. Be prepared

Help your teenager practice her interview skills. These include arriving on time, being prepared to answer (as well as ask) questions, being polite and respectful, making eye contact, no chewing gum, and turning off the phone and putting it away for the duration of the interview.

5. Understand it’s not about you

An employer is not waiting to provide a terrific summer experience for a teenager. Rather, the employer is seeking an employee. Help your teenager brainstorm what she offers the employer, rather than the other way around. “Employers hire to fix a need or a problem,” says Goldsmith. “Give the employer a reason to employ you.”

Diana Simeon

Diana Simeon is an editorial consultant for Your Teen.