Landing a Job
Unless you have connections—you own a company or know someone who's looking for help—your child will have to find a job on his own. Fortunately, the jobs are out there.
Your child just has to learn how to find them and how to get hired—but these two things are not always simple.
Where to Look
The job your child wants may be right under her nose. Here are some of the more common places to check out first:
- Job listings at school employment offices.
- Signs in stores and shops in the neighborhood. It's difficult these days not to see “help wanted” signs all over town.
- Ask neighbors and friends for possible openings. Those in high school can talk to kids about to go off to college. As job openings are created by kids going off to college, high schoolers may be able to fill those openings.
- Look at local newspapers. Job openings are listed daily in the want ad or advertisement section.
- Check out the state employment office. There may be a youth employment division that your child can check into for possible positions.
A reference is a person who can vouch for your child. Generally, a reference is a former boss who can attest to the period of your child's previous employment and tell whether he was a good employee. Sometimes your child also will be asked for a personal reference, which can be a neighbor or friend who knows him well, or a teacher or professor he's had in school.
What to Do
Jobs may be plentiful, but your child still must know his way around the job application process to nail down a position. He can't just present himself and expect immediate and positive results.
Your child must come prepared. For most jobs, he'll have to complete a job application. Typically, this is a one-page form that asks him to list his name, address, telephone number, Social Security number, previous jobs (if any), and who can be contacted as a reference.
Your child should be ready with all the information asked on the application. By anticipating what's asked, he'll be able to have the information on hand and provide it quickly and accurately. If he has never applied for a job before, then it's up to you to prep him on what questions will be asked and what information he needs to respond.
As your child gets older and moves up the job scale to better positions and gets some work experience under his belt, she may be asked to provide a résumé. This usually happens once kids hit college and start to look for jobs in their intended field. It's a good idea for your child to make a résumé even before she reaches the job market and to keep it handy and update it as necessary. You can help your teenager by letting her know that she should have a résumé and helping her to prepare one.
Piggybank on It
If he doesn't already know his nine-digit Social Security number by heart, your child should memorize it now. He'll be asked to provide this number very often throughout his life. Even more than a name, a Social Security number is a person's identifier. It's the number used by the government to know who you are despite job moves, new residences, and even name changes. If your child can't memorize it, then he should carry it in his wallet.
A résumé is a summary of personal information (name, address, and telephone number), jobs a person has already held (what work was performed and when), and education level (including any degrees expected to be earned).
Even if she may not be asked to provide a résumé when she applies for a job, going through the exercise of making a résumé isn't a waste of time. The résumé will include all the information she needs to complete the job application, so she can bring it with her as a reminder of this information.
There's no single résumé formula that your child must use. Books in the library can provide her with many ideas on how to write a resume.
Even easier, your child can write a résumé using a template in a word processing program. For example, Microsoft Word allows users to tailor a résumé according to specific needs. Your child can list her education before work experience if she want to emphasize her academic credentials. Or, she can list her work experience before noting her school background when her job experience becomes more impressive. The idea of the résuméis to emphasize the positive and minimize the negative.