Finding a job you love can be difficult. If you're a teenager looking for a summer job, it can be particularly tricky to stand out in the crowd
In a world where online businesses are a plenty--and brick-and-mortar businesses limited--creating a powerful resume and being prepared for an interview are vital. If you find yourself looking for a job over the summer, here are six helpful tips to keep in mind:
1. Clean up your social media posts.
The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn't post anything you wouldn't want your parents or your boss to see. We all like to have a good time. However, companies are attentive to their employees social media accounts to ensure they represent their brand standards.
Be you, but be classy. Remember, they will probably Google your name before asking you to come in for an interview.
2. Have a clear expectation of the hours you're available to work.
In high school, free time isn't abundant. Be open and honest about the hours you can dedicate to a company.
If you do have volunteer work, an internship, or any other time commitment, be sure to accommodate those into your schedule. Don't set yourself up for failure in terms of setting hard to meet expectations, and you'll start out on the right foot.
3. Use any family connections.
My first job as a hostess was thanks to my next door neighbor, who started a bakery and then a deli, and upgraded his way up the food chain (literally) and finally opened his own upscale restaurant. I told him when I was about 10 years old that I wanted to work for him one day, and I did.
Ask your parents, aunts and uncles, even friends of the family if they know anyone who might be looking for employees. A personal recommendation goes a long way in the business world. It's actually more about who you know than what you know.
4. Do your research.
My biggest pet peeve is when I ask someone what they know about the company, and their answer leaves me less than enthused. Have a good idea of what it is they do, what they're known for, and how you could fit in.
5. Use a resume template specifically for teenagers.
While you don't have a long list of former employers just yet, you may be able to impress with your affiliation of certain clubs and groups. Focus on your strengths!
Having certain skills such as a strong grasp of a specific social media platform, or experience editing your own YouTube videos will make you an ideal candidate for many jobs.
In high school, I held three part-time jobs all at once. While I didn't have a ton of work experience before I landed these jobs, I created a resume that listed my strengths.
I was a member of the national honor society, student government, captain of the soccer team, and captain of the volleyball team. I was also captain of a different travel soccer team. In my spare time, I volunteered at my local elementary school as an aide in their special education classes, and created a scholarship fund for pregnant teens to fund their college tuition.
Yeah, I was one of those kids.
What you do in your free time shows a true testament of your character. Dedication to team sports, clubs, and extracurricular activities show that you're willing to be a hard worker and a self-starter. Those are two of the most important things employers want to see.
6. Search job listings.
There are plenty of places to hunt for a job online. Some of my favorites are Indeed and Linkedin.
You may think Linkedin isn't for you just yet, but it's never too early to start making connections and building a professional persona. You can also ask your guidance counselor for recommendations for local businesses who are on the lookout for exceptional student employees.
Having a summer job as a teenager can be a rewarding experience. Most importantly, though, remember to have fun.
Find something you believe you'd truly enjoy doing, and apply to all of the jobs in that sector. It may sound cliche, but you've got your entire life to continue working--so enjoy your summer breaks while you can.