Teen Summer Job Search Tips

With teenagers in their final days of school before summer break, some of those with aspirations to work over the summer have already secured employment.  However, for the many still hoping to land a position, one job-search authority says it is not too late.

While many employers already completed the process of interviewing and hiring for seasonal positions, this does not mean that those still wanting jobs should give up.  Some employers may need more workers than they expected; others may have delayed hiring; and some may have discovered that one or more of those hired early were not a good fit.

The point is, you never know if or when a job opening is going to materialize, so you want to keep pushing to ensure that you are in the right place if one does.

The outlook on the summer job market for teenagers released by Challenger in March was not very optimistic.  However, since March, large seasonal hiring plans were announced by several employers, including McDonald’s, Home Depot and Lowe’s.

Teen job seekers will definitely need help from the private sector.  We still see a shortage of job opportunities for teens in the cash-strapped public sector, where taxpayer-funded park districts, public swimming pools, beaches, camps, etc., are likely to cut back on seasonal hiring.

Last year, teen job seekers experienced the weakest summer job market in decades.  Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that from May through July employment among 16- to 19-year-olds increased by just 960,000 jobs.  That was down 17.5 percent from 2009, when teen employment grew by 1,163,000.

The 960,000 summer jobs filled by teens represents the lowest level of summer hiring since 1949, when teen employment increased by 932,000 during the summer months.  In contrast, employers hired more than 1.7 million teenagers during the summer of 2006, bringing total employment for this age group to 7,494,000 in July, which historically represents the annual peak of teen employment.

The key to success for late-to-the-game teen job seekers will be an aggressive approach.  Today’s tech-savvy teenagers are apt to conduct 90 percent of their job search on the Internet and submit applications online.  However, nothing beats actually walking into a business, introducing yourself to the manager and asking about job opportunities.  The personal touch sets the groundwork in building a rapport that will separate you from electronic candidates,” said Challenger, who offered some additional advice for teens seeking summer employment.


Search where others are not.  Outdoor jobs involving heavy labor or behind-the-scenes jobs are often not as sought-after by teen job seekers.

Look for odd jobs at odd hours.  ­Offer to work evening and night shifts and to fill in for vacationing employees.  As a job-search strategy, conduct a search for these types of positions during the hours they operate.

Become a door-to-door salesman when selling your skills. ­Do what good salesmen do — start on one block and go from business to business, door to door.  Don’t simply ask for an application.  Take the time to introduce yourself and build some rapport with the hiring manager.

Call friends and relatives.  Parents and other relatives are often the best source for information on job leads.  However, don’t forget to stay in touch with friends and other classmates, especially those who have been able to find jobs.

Be a job-search ninja.  Wait outside the store or offices of a prospective employer to attempt to intercept a hiring manager upon his or her arrival.

Dress for the part.  Even if you are applying to work on a road crew, show up to all interviews in nice clothes.  You want the interviewer to focus on you and your skills, not on your ripped jeans and paint-splattered t-shirt.

Don’t hesitate to revisit employers.  The types of businesses seeking seasonal employees typically have higher-than-average turnover.  An employer that did not hire you a couple of months ago might need more workers now.

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.


One thought on “Teen Summer Job Search Tips

  1. Pingback: Teen Summer Job Search Tips « @Work | Job Offers

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