How to Help Your Teen Find a Job

Young woman working in ice cream shop.
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Although lots of teens can say they want a job, the vast majority aren’t sure where to begin looking for work. Whether you’re helping your teen obtain a temporary summer job, part-time employment, or his first full-time job after high school, provide some guidance about how to begin the job hunting process.

Before you begin looking for job opportunities, have some discussions about the type of jobs your teen thinks would be a good match for him.

It’s important to increase your teen’s chances of success by helping him find a job that builds on his strengths. A teen who enjoys working with people may do well working as a cashier.

There may also be times that a job can help your teen grow and mature. A shy teen may be tempted to take a job where he can avoid interacting with others. However, working with the public may be the best way to increase his confidence – but only if that’s what his goal is.

There are plenty of places to begin looking for job opportunities. Here are a few places to begin helping your teen look for employment:

Internet Job Boards

The internet can be a great resource for teens looking for employment. Local and national job boards provide offerings for part time and seasonal jobs. Some websites, like Craigslist, have a variety of non-traditional job postings, like babysitting, dog walking, or lawn care.

However, there are many scams on there as well. It’s important to discuss safety concerns about applying to these types of jobs. Sometimes people pose as employers and at other times, predators use job postings as a way to lure people into meeting them. Make sure to check out the legitimacy of any job postings on any website because teens can be easy targets for get rich quick schemes and other potential hazards.

Websites of Local Businesses

Local businesses may offer jobs solely on their websites or social media pages. They may even have an application available to fill out online. These are great opportunities for teens to learn about a business before completing the application. Work with your teen to create a list of local businesses that may be hiring and then have your teen conduct an online search for their websites. Don’t forget seasonal businesses, like summer camps, who are often scrambling to hire employees at the last minute.

Newspapers

The help wanted section of your local paper is sometimes a forgotten place to look for jobs. Although for years, it was the main way people job hunted, the internet has replaced it as the main place to look for jobs. Suggest your teen search the local paper to get a sense of what types of businesses are hiring and to read about various skills employers are looking for.

Help Wanted Signs

Sometimes, shopping could be the best way to help your teen find a job.

Many stores in malls find their best employees are the one that shop there already. Other opportunities including hardware stores and convenience stores often put out signs in their windows. Many teens are shy about walking into a business to request a job application. But, it can be an excellent practice in customer service skills to do so. 

Word-of-Mouth

Tell your teen to tell friends, family members, and neighbors that he’s looking for work. Sometimes, this can be the best way to find out who is hiring. Some of the best jobs for teens are not advertised at all but instead, the positions are filled through word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth can also be a great way to obtain non-traditional jobs, like lawn mowing or babysitting.

Career Centers and Guidance Counselors

Guidance counselors can sometimes assist teens in locating part-time employment and summer jobs. Encourage your teen to talk to his guidance about job opportunities. Older teens looking for full-time employment may benefit from visiting the local career center. Career centers offer a variety of information on jobs, as well as opportunities to gain further education.

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