Do you remember your first job? Mine what working in the cafeteria at a retirement/assisted living community. I can’t even remember how I heard about that job. My biggest memories from it are wearing the hairnet and how cold it was in the freezer. For many parents, their teenager may be getting ready to search for their first job. Applying for a job is a skill that all teenagers need but may not get the necessary guidance in high school.
We are lucky where we live. Our local Goodwill Career Center, in conjunction with our library, provides a great service to teens during Spring Break. They are conducting a series of workshops for teens – Resume Writing and Interviewing. I had my oldest attend them since he is on the hunt for a summer job. I asked my son to share the biggest takeaways he got from both sessions. Here is what he got out of the workshops that you can share with your teenager:
Top Tips for Resume Writing
- Most kids under the age of 18 will not need a resume for a job.
- If they do, the resume doesn’t need to be more than half or a full page.
- Your resume will need to include:
- Name, Mailing Address, Phone Number, and Email Address
- Brief Summary About Your Background – for a teen this may be where they were born, go to school, experiences they have gained, etc.
- Work Experience – only if they have work experience
- Volunteer Experience – you want to include the name of the organization, what specifically your child did and when
- Organizations – Honor Society, Scouts, Athletic Teams
- References – you only need to put “references available upon request”
- You can include accomplishments but make sure they are relevant to the job. For example, it might be exciting for a teen that they can stuff 20 marshmallows into their mouth. However, unless they are applying for a job as a circus performer, the company won’t see it as helpful for the job.
- Keep the resume simple – you don’t need to include any fancy pictures or graphics.
Top Tips for Interviews
- You only have one shot to make a good impression.
- Be honest and don’t lie to try to get the job. The interviewer will either be able to tell or check if you are telling the truth.
- When they ask what is your weakness, never give just one. They will ask for another weakness if you give just one. An example of a weakness may be that you are stubborn. But you could also say you are aware of this and it’s something you are working on to get better.
- Posture is always key in an interview – don’t slouch.
- Keep your legs together or cross them – it looks more professional.
- Maintain eye contact – you could look at them for 4 seconds and take 1 second to look away.
- Don’t wear bright colors or big jewelry as it will detract the interviewer from what you are saying.
- Do wear grey, blue or white.
- Be cautious in wearing black as the color can relay sadness. This is because black is typically worn at funerals.
- For teenagers, it’s ok to ask about pay, hours, breaks, and flexibility.
What tips would you add to this list? Share in the comments so we can learn from each other. I’ll use your tip in an upcoming Facebook post.
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