It is almost the end of May, which means summer is near. At least summer matters in all ways: the end of the school term, the start of the tourist season in much of the country, and the start of family vacations.
And who is at the center of these odd trend lines? American teenager. When 16-19 year olds are discharged from school, they will be traveling with their families on those holidays, but they will be working in national parks or recreation centers that went on other holidays.
As you might guess, this has been one of the best years in recent memory for teens who want a summer job. Not only is there a shortage of workers everywhere, but wages are higher than usual and employers are more forgiving of the worker’s limited experience.
If you’re a teenager reading this article (well, if you’re a teenager whose newspaper-reading parents passed along this article), now is the time to give your ducklings a great summer work experience. Get in a row.
The following steps will give you a good start on this process. The sequence of steps doesn’t matter mostly, but it would be smart to start contacting employers (Step 5) by the first week of June, if not sooner. Although many jobs are already being offered, there are excellent opportunities available.
1 – Review your schedule. If you’re taking summer school or vacationing with your family, your time is already bound. Use an electronic or paper calendar to better visualize your available time while helping you decide how many hours a week you can offer.
2 – Consider your goals. At this stage you may not know what kind of work you will be best at. Figuring out that is actually one of the benefits of a summer job, so it’s not a problem in itself.
But if you have a goal, such as learning or using a special skill (carpentry? cooking? coding?), or working a certain way (outside? helping seniors? teaching kids?) — it’s summertime. It’s time to find jobs. would meet that criterion.
3 – Write your resume. You may already have a resume, or this may be the first time you need one. In any case, be aware that using a resume instead of/instead of an online application can give you access to more opportunities. For example, if you heard that the music store is hiring but can’t find a job posting, you can bring your resume straight to the store and ask for an appointment with the manager.
Resume doesn’t have to be complicated. Begin with your name, followed by your email and phone number (but not your address), followed by a sentence or two that describe you and your goal: Reliable, outgoing student with good math skills. Part-time summer at an office. Looking for a job or store. If you don’t have a specific goal, it’s okay to give up on the type of job.
Next, you can make a short bullet list of strengths, such as *accurate *willingness to learn *Able to use Excel, Word, and PowerPoint *Comfortable greeting clients.
Now write down any chores you already have, including babysitting, side business or helping with your family business or farm. The next section is for any volunteering you’ve done, and the last section is for the school, which includes activities you’ve been a part of.
4 – Decide where to apply. Do your transportation options mean the job has to be bike-accessible? In that case, bike that distance in all directions and write down the places that interest you. Otherwise, you can create your own lists according to your interests or where your friends are already working.
5 – Start contacting employers. If you see lucrative jobs online, go ahead and apply the same way. Otherwise, you can combine in-person and online processes to reach the employers you want to talk to. Once you have a system in place, contact at least 10 employers each week (20 is better), to make sure interviews happen before too much heat has passed.
As you can see, getting a job in the summer is not difficult, but it requires perseverance and determination. If you are under 16, these steps should also work, although some employers may not hire at that age. If this happens, you may need to investigate a local youth employment program, or start your own side business.
However you do yours, good luck and enjoy your summer!
Amy Lindgren is the owner of Career Consulting Firm in St. Paul. He can be contacted at [email protected]