Your Money Matters: Teen summer job outlook

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Andrew Challenger

Challenger, Gray and Christmas Inc.
150 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 2800
(312) 332-5790


Search where others are not.
Retail and food service are often the go-to for teens, but other industries may have openings as well. Outdoor jobs involving heavy labor or behind-the-scenes jobs are often not as sought-after by teen job seekers. Teens could approach museums, summer camps, pet groomers or caretakers, event arenas, and park districts to find open positions.

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.

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