Job Hunting Tactics for Teens

All right – we know you've likely had your ear talked off about getting a job this summer. And whether or not you agreed all along or you've simply succumb to the pressure, you have decided this is the best course action. The only problem – how do you actually go about finding an opening, esp. when you have limited experience? Here are a few tips to get started:

Draft a Resume Okay, we're going to stop you before you start protesting and proclaiming you have nothing to include. Even if you've never held a "real" job before, you can likely create a resume. Have you joined any clubs in high school? Do you volunteer anywhere in your community? Have you won any academic awards? All of these opportunities and experiences can be used to demonstrate your interests, skills and talents to employers. As an added bonus they'll likely be impressed by your perceived professionalism.

Network Whether you are a brand new job seeker or you're looking to become vice president of a company, networking is essential to any search. Indeed, the people you know and the people your friends and extended family know are your best bet for securing employment. Ask around and see if anyone has any recommendations or has heard of any openings.

Cast a Wide Net You shouldn't submit an application (or two), pat yourself on the back and call it a day. A weak economy means the job market is über competitive. The more you reach out to companies and organizations, the greater your chances for landing a gig.

Follow Up Don't just simply drop off a resume and then sit around twiddling your thumbs. Companies are busy and they are likely to receive numerous applications. You don't want to fall through the cracks. It's important to reach back out. This demonstrates both tenacity and continued interest. Careful though – there's a fine line between gentle inquiry and badgering.

Dress appropriately This may seem a tad obvious but first impressions are everything. Even if you're applying for a job that allows jean shorts and flip-flops in the work place, you should initially dress conservatively (think business casual). This will reflect maturity and show that you're serious about the position.

We won't sugar coat it. Job hunting is difficult. It takes discipline, drive and patience. Every application won't necessarily result in an offer. However, if you follow these suggestions, stay the course and don't lose hope, you are likely to discover an opportunity waiting for you!

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