Summer Job Tips for Teens

Summer has just ended and your friends proudly parade in front of you the fruits of their summer jobs – iPods, video games, cell phones, and tan lines they got from Panama City Beach. Oh, you were able to get yourself an iPod. Only that it’s not from a summer gig, but from helping your mom fold your dad’s boxers.

Well, there’s always a next summer and it’s not too early to be anxious and excited about summer jobs. A summer gig not only gives teenagers dollars to spend, it also teaches them about money management and responsibility, and gives them real-life experiences. So start planning as early as possible to bag a summer job.

Here are some tips to beat the competition and land the most in-demand summer job:

Be connected

Now is the right time for you to touch base with a family friend who owns that restaurant. While it is OK to ask your parents to pay a visit to their friend, it is best to talk to him or her yourself. This will show that you’re really interested about getting the job and that you’re not being forced by your parents. You can also approach employed friends and former bosses. Building connections isn’t exclusive for stuffy guys in suits anymore.

Be updated about the local "release dates"

You need to know when the local colleges and high schools close up for the summer. It will be very easy if you’re studying at one of these schools. Despite repeated warnings and advices, teens will wait to search summer gigs until the last minute. Early bird catches the worm and you don’t want to be picking over the leftovers, do you?

Be honest

Being honest includes telling the truth during your first conversations with the potential boss. Don’t tell him or her that you can work 24/7 when you can’t. Don’t over-commit. Also, don’t claim that you have certain experience and skills even if you don’t. Sure it’s exhilarating to be on the verge of getting a summer gig, but the best way to turn yourself into ash in your new job is to tell a lie. One more thing…

Don’t be "that girl" or "that guy"

Competition can be very fierce when finding a summer job. So don’t do something stupid that would make your potential employer to disqualify you in the game early.

The list of embarrassing job application faux pas is long – from that annoying cell phone ring tones during an interview to wearing board shorts and slippers to smoking while being interviewed. It won’t hurt to try to exercise some common sense.

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