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TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships
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TeenLife Guide to Jobs and Internships

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The TeenLife Guide to Jobs & Internships covers the entire process of finding and securing jobs and internships including the following: Choosing a Path; Making Yourself Marketable; Resumes and …

The TeenLife Guide to Jobs & Internships covers the entire process of finding and securing jobs and internships including the following: Choosing a Path; Making Yourself Marketable; Resumes and References; Networking; Cover Letters; Job Interviews; Internship & Career Advisors; And More...

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  • 1. 2 0 1 1 GUIDE TO FINDING JOBS & INTERNSHIPS W W W. T E E N L I F E . C O MHow an InternshipCan Shape Your CareerResume Review:How to Make YouShine Above all the RestBuild Confidencewith Savvy StudentNetworking Tips A T E E N L I F E M E D I A D I G I TA L P U B L I C AT I O N
  • 2. TEENLIFE Guide to Jobs & InternshipsPUBLISHED BYTeenLife Media, LLC1330 Beacon St., Suite 268Brookline, MA 02446www.teenlife.com JOINCopyright © 2011 by TeenLife Media, LLC,Brookline, Massachusetts TEENLIFE.COMPublished by TeenLife Media, LLC, NOW!Brookline, MassachusettsV.P., Marketing and Business Development: Cara Ferragamo MurrayManaging Editor: Camille HeidebrechtGraphic Design: Kathryn TiltonAUTHOR: SCOTT WEIGHARTScott Weighart is a Career Development and Communications Consultant with more than 15 years in higher education. Author of five books,including Find Your First Professional Job, he consults with universities and corporations on recruiting and serves as a career coach forstudents and professionals.LIMIT OF LIABILITYThis publication, produced by TeenLife Media (TL), is intended as a general guide only. While this guide contains articles with general advice,readers are advised to obtain independent advice, undertake their own investigations, obtain references, and come to their own conclusionsbefore making any commitments. TL is not familiar with all of the businesses and institutions listed, and is therefore not responsible for theaccuracy of any description, or for mistakes, errors or omissions. TL is not responsible for any costs, damages, or other matters that occuras a result of reliance on the material contained herein. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of TL.Trademarks: TeenLife Media, LLC and related trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of TeenLife and/or its affiliates in theUnited States and may not be used without written permission.
  • 3. Table of Contents4 16 7. MAKING YOUR JOB 1. CHOOSING YOUR PATH 5. A SUCCESS6 2. MAKING YOURSELF 2. MARKETABLE 18 8. STARTING A BUSINESS 8 3. RESUMES & 1. REFERENCES 20 9. GETTING PAID 22 4 . NETWORKING & FINDING 10. INTERNSHIP &10 .1 OPPORTUNITIES 1 .0 CAREER ADVISORS 24 ABOUT TEENLIFE12 5. COVER LETTERS14 6. JOB INTERVIEWS TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS 2011 | 3
  • 4. Guide to Jobs & Internships TeenLife is all about “bringing the best out in teens.” And one big way students can showcase their best is by obtaining a career-building job or internship. The benefits of both are immeasurable. Right off the bat, teens learn the importance of taking responsibility for their work. Plus, they gain valuable insight on how to collaborate effectively with co-workers, use networking, and translate their real world experiences to college and career. All of this information is conveniently organized in our extensive Guide to Jobs & Internships. With more than 22 pages of recommendations, no topic is left uncovered. From writing cover letters and interviewing to learning professionalism in the workplace, our guide covers everything students need to know about getting a career-building job or internship.1 CHOOSING YOUR PATH It’s very common for teens to feel somewhat paralyzed work in a team or as an individual contributor? Do by the whole idea of figuring out what type of job to you picture yourself working 9 to 5 in a professional pursue, let alone making decisions about a college office, or would you rather work other hours in a less major or career. A good first step is to take a deep conventional setting? breath and relax. You don’t need to decide immediately Interests: What makes you happiest? Left to your own what you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life. devices, how do you like to spend your free time? Is The main thing is to start taking some small steps to it more fun for you to work with people or to work by figure out what you think you might like to do or what yourself or on a computer? What high school classes you might be suited for. What’s the worst that will hap- have been most interesting to you? If money were no pen? You might learn about what you don’t want to do. object, what would you choose to do for two weeks With that in mind, let’s take a look at some ways to this summer? think about what your first steps toward employment Personality: Are you an outgoing extrovert or a more might be. reserved introvert? Are you a big-picture person who gets annoyed with schedules, or are you a detail- oriented person who loves to make a to-do list and Self-Exploration cross off items as they are completed? Do you make Deciding on goals for a job search becomes simpler decisions as more of a thinker who values compe- if you think of the four most important components of tence or more as a feeler who believes that harmony choosing your path: values, interests, personality, is most important? Would you be happier in a more and skills. casual, laid-back work environment, or do you thrive Values: What is important to you as a person? Do you on a fast pace and deadlines? want to be in a profession that involves helping others? Skills: What are you good at? Do you like moving Is making as much money as possible a priority? Do around or sitting still? Are you really good with num- you like the idea of doing five things at once, or do you bers? Do you love to debate issues with friends and prefer to focus on one thing all day? Would you rather family? If you have to do an oral report in school, are4 | 2011 TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS
  • 5. you excited or terrified? Do you love to write? Do you even though they are almost always unpaid. It is notfind yourself planning events at school? Are you good completely impossible to end up in sports manage-at resolving problems and being a peacemaker among ment, for example, as a career. But you absolutelyyour friends, or do you like to stir things up? have to be willing to make many sacrifices to get there, and the ground work you lay as a high schoolerIf you and your parents or counselors make some will hold you in good stead later on.notes with your strongest responses to many of theabove questions, several possible career paths will A great example is Caleb Ginsberg. Passionate aboutemerge. For example, someone who wants to help baseball, Caleb realized he would never have theothers and who is extroverted and compassionate skill to play professionally, but that he could have amay begin thinking of careers in health care, educa- career in sports. It took many sacrifices. He workedtion, psychology, and social work. A teen who loves hundreds of unpaid hours helping out minor leaguecomputers, wants to make money, and who enjoys and amateur baseball teams. By the time he got tostructure and details may gravitate toward computer college, he already had some experience and keptscience, engineering, and some lesser known areas of building on it. After another unpaid job with thebusiness, such as supply chain management or man- Tampa Bay Rays, he landed a position with the Newagement information systems. A high school student York Yankees when he graduated. Now he’s with thewho dislikes math but enjoys public speaking, writing, National Football League Players Association. It didn’tand creativity may want to think about communica- happen by accident. It took a lot of hard work to maketions, marketing, or human resource management. connections and make the most of them.Armed with that knowledge, it is then possible to So if you want to be in a glamorous field—and even ifdelve deeper. With that last example, it might be a you don’t—you will benefit greatly by starting to takegood idea to learn more about all of the different active steps now. Create a web page or blog about onecareer paths in marketing, including sales, public of your passions. Volunteer at an organization thatrelations, and market research—all of which are is meaningful to you. Find a summer camp throughextremely different subfields. TeenLife that will help you develop more skill and experience in an area that interests you. Be a person who makes it happen!Caveats When Choosing Your Path One other caveat: Remember that choosing a job orIf you ask 1,000 teenagers about their interests, there internship does not mean that you are making a com-are several themes that you will hear all the time. For mitment for the rest of your life. If you’re interestedexample, many teens love popular music. Most have in becoming a psychologist, try volunteering at a localtheir favorite television shows. Shopping for clothes social services agency. If you think you might want toand cool technology gadgets is always a popular activ- be a veterinarian, see what you can do at your nearbyity and watching professional sports—especially in animal shelter. Want to open your own restaurant onemetro markets—is an extremely common hobby. day? Maybe you’d better see what it takes, especiallySo why is this relevant when it comes to the realm of as those jobs entail long hours of monotonous work,jobs and internships? We call it “Glamorous Industry such as chopping up vegetables. Whatever you do,Syndrome.” Thousands and thousands of teenagers be prepared for the fact that you might change yourwould dearly love to work for a professional sports mind about what you want to do in college or for yourteam like the Boston Red Sox or New England Patri- career. That’s okay, as every job or internship that youots. Countless others can imagine themselves picking like or dislike will get you that much closer to figuringout the tunes for their favorite radio station, while out what you do want to do.many more envision a career in the glamorous world While all of this can help, TeenLife is also happy toof fashion. point you toward many other tools and resources thatAs a result, jobs and internships in any of these glam- will assist you in self-exploration.orous fields are always extremely hard to come by, TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS 2011 | 5
  • 6. 2 MAKING YOURSELF MARKETABLE Even when a teenager has figured out what he or Start thinking about which soft skills are your she might want to do for a job or career, there is still strengths. much to accomplish. Many teenagers fret about the In the classroom or in extracurricular activities, fact that no one will want to hire them, given their age have you demonstrated that you have a strong ability and inexperience. These fears are indeed plausible, to learn and that you’re a good team player? Are you especially when the economy is suffering. Teen hiring a good multitasker? Teens often don’t believe that always fares poorly when unemployment is higher. experience gained from classes, summer camps, That said, the situation is far from hopeless. These and team sports really count in the eyes of potential days, there is a growing buzz about what some call employers, and this is absolutely wrong! Think of "21st century skills.” While this may sound daunting, specific stories that show these skills in action. there is potentially good news here for many teens. In Work towards improving skills that are currently surveys of many hiring managers, a theme emerges weaknesses. that may or may not surprise you. While managers do value skills and experience, roughly two-thirds If you lack confidence in your public speaking of managers would list the following as the most skills, think about joining a debate team at school important qualities that they seek when hiring: or signing up for an elective that will give you an opportunity to improve your communication skills. • ability to learn quickly Computer knowledge is a key 21st century skill, so • positive attitude what are you doing on the computer besides going on Facebook? Understanding Microsoft Excel in • dependability particular gives any job candidate a real advantage. • communication skills There are all sorts of resources out there that can • ability to work independently or in a team help you improve your computer skills dramatically, whether through summer camps, books, courses, or • ability to multitask online tutorials. There are many other similar skills, but you get the Learning software applications such as Excel, HTML idea. Most managers would prefer to hire someone (or web design tools), PowerPoint, and Adobe Photo- with these qualities and minimal experience rather shop can have an unbelievably great payoff, and not than a person with excellent experience who has a just for teens interested in a computer-related major negative attitude, poor interpersonal skills, and so or career. Teens have often been on computers since forth. the age of three, and this is definitely not the case for Why is this? Many managers have learned the hard older employees in the workforce! Computer skills way that it’s much easier to change someone’s level are an enormous competitive advantage: Capitalize of skill and experience than it is to overhaul that by learning more of them. individual’s personality. Granted, the ideal candidate It also should be noted that there is a double benefit would be a person who has excellent "soft skills” and to learning computer skills: Obviously, becoming significant job experience, but those soft skills are much stronger in Excel gives you another skill that something a teen can build on. might plug directly into an employer’s need. Ad- So with this in mind, how can teens make themselves ditionally, however, putting your energy into learning marketable for potential employers? several programs will also show employers and col-6 | 2011 TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS
  • 7. lege admissions officers that you’re the kind of person If you are interested in creating a web page, thinkwho is able and willing to make yourself a stronger about going to the library to get a book such as HTMLcandidate. This speaks volumes about your initiative as for Dummies. Those Dummies books are not forwell as your intellectual curiosity. stupid people; they’re written for those who don’t want to read dry and boring textbooks.Devote some time and energy to career exploration. If you want to consider journalism, well, are youOnce you have any sort of inkling about a career path reading the newspaper every day and studying how thethat might interest you, do some homework to find out articles are written? If you like the idea of engineering,more about it. Go on some informational interviews. maybe you should read up about the different branchesIf you think that financial services or law might be of it. Talk to people who work in them, including civilinteresting, see if you can connect with a family mem- engineers, industrial engineers, and chemical engineers.ber, neighbor, or family friend who can tell you moreabout what that career is like. On your informational There are many fields out there most teens knowinterview, be ready to ask questions: nothing about it at all… and which might be great career options. Just talking to adults about what they • What excites you about your field? do, what they like and dislike about their career, and • What kind of person is successful in this what kind of education it required to get them where industry? they are today can help tremendously. • What skills can I work on improving now to These efforts might not lead directly to a job right now. make myself more qualified for a job in this The long-term goal is to increase your odds of getting the career later? best possible full-time job after college or maybe setting • What courses would be smart for me to take yourself up to get into graduate school sooner rather to learn more about this field? than later. If you take these steps, you’ll be able to have intelligent conversations about your skills, interests, and • Are there books you would recommend career goals when it comes time to interview for a job or that would teach more about this profession? for college. Again, it does not happen magically! TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS 2011 | 7
  • 8. 3 RESUMES AND REFERENCES Once you have a sense of what you might want to do • Use boldface, italics, and a variety of sizes for for a job, it’s time to start focusing on some practical headings to make your resume visually inter- matters. esting: Doing so will demonstrate that you care about the appearance of your work, and it will You will need to create a simple resume. While no also indicate that you have basic competence employer will expect a teenager to have an amaz- with word processing. ing amount of experience, don’t underestimate the importance of having an effective resume. Here are some fundamentals: Your resume should reflect what is most important Your resume is a first impression to a hiring manager A quick glance at a resume will make an immediate A resume is full of facts about you. However, an im- impression on your employer—but not necessarily a portant step in creating a resume is to look at it from positive impression. A scan of your resume will tell a the point of view of a potential manager. What does potential employer whether or not you: that manager want and need to know about you? With that in mind, you want to make sure that every- • Take pride in producing good-looking work thing on your resume serves a purpose. The goal is • Pay attention to detail to help a hiring manager see how your background • Have some degree of proficiency with connects with the needs of that organization. Microsoft Word Typos, spelling errors, and formatting inconsistencies Let’s say that you have a specific type of job in mind. will raise immediate questions about your ability to Maybe you want to get an internship at a hospital to do administrative work without constant correction. learn more about being a laboratory technician or If your resume looks bad, employers will not want to a nurse. With an interest in health care, you might find out what the rest of your work looks like! choose to mention “relevant courses” that you’ve taken in high school, such as biology. If your only job experiences are as a waitress or lifeguard, you Be honest about your skills and experiences might want to mention relevant soft skills in your job Given that your job experiences may be limited, it may description, such as responsibility, dependability, be tempting to make your jobs sound more impres- interpersonal skills, and a positive attitude. sive than they really were. If you have real accom- plishments, great, but be sure that you are truthful Be ready to talk about anything on your resume about everything that you write on your resume. Don’t put things on your resume simply because they For example, are you really proficient in Microsoft sound impressive. If your interests are, say, current Excel? If all you can do is enter data, create a few events, technology, snowboarding, and contempo- simple formulas, and build some basic charts and rary fiction, it’s a great idea to include them on your graphs, you’re better off saying that you’re familiar resume. That shows the employer that you’re a with Excel. Likewise, you want to do justice to previ- well-rounded person with extracurricular interests ous jobs that you’ve held… but don’t exaggerate when and intellectual curiosity. describing what you actually did. However, you’d better be ready to talk about any- thing that’s on your resume. If you’re interested8 | 2011 TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS
  • 9. in current events, you might get asked about political The big mistake that many teens make here is failingunrest in Egypt. If you claim to be passionate about to plan ahead. Before your resume goes to anyone,technology, you might get asked your opinion about how see if you can get the permission of three to fivelong we’ll have physical books and newspapers. adults (not peers) who can talk about your character, intelligence, skills, and experiences. Ideally, you would have at least one person from each of theseThe same is true with skills. If you claim that you three categories:showed great multitasking skills as a waitress, you’d • Current or former supervisorbetter have a story that will prove it. If you say that youknow HTML, you’d better know some simple code. • Current or former teacher or coach • Family friend who has known you for many yearsFlunking this test will raise immediate questions aboutthe credibility of anything that you say. Get permission from these people before you give out their contact information, and keep them posted on who receives that information. Your references will beLine up your references before you start your able to do much better on your behalf if they know thejob search details of any job that you are trying to get.It’s not unusual for employers to ask for referencesbefore they hire a person for a job. Basically, they wantto have the contact information—phone and e-mail ad-dress, usually—of a few people who know you well andwho can say something about you as a person, employ-ee, or student. TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS 2011 | 9
  • 10. 4 NETWORKING AND FINDING OPPORTUNITIES Armed with a good resume, a teenager can start taking incredibly specific: No one has to say, “I intend to be active steps toward finding a job. However, that can a business analyst for a financial services company.” be challenging—especially when the economy is in a However, any teen should be able to talk about slump. In good times, most businesses are happy to themselves in a broad sort of way: have extra help and willing to take on someone who • “I’m very comfortable working with computers, is inexperienced. In recent years, though, teens have but I also like working with people. I’m thinking been hurt by the recession more than any other age of majoring in business, but I also think I could group. There is much more competition these days, add value to a company working with comput- even for entry-level jobs. ers in customer service and work my way up.” So what is a teen supposed to do in these circum- • “In the long run, I think I might want a career stances? Although there are dozens of websites with in health care. Of course, you can’t work as a thousands of jobs posted on them, those positions usu- doctor or nurse as a teenager, so right now I’d ally aren’t appropriate for teens. be a very motivated worker in anything related The bad news is that it can be a good deal of work for to medicine, whether in a hospital, research lab, teens to find jobs. The good news is that learning how or clinic… but I also think that any job involving to do so will pay off for the rest of your career. The key helping people would be somewhere I could is networking. Networking involves reaching out to really shine, so that’s another option.” everyone you know—friends, family, acquaintances, • “I really like keeping busy, and I’m looking for teachers, coaches, and mentors—in an attempt to any kind of office job where I can work hard and make sure people know who you are and what you can earn a good reference or recommendation. I’m do as an employee. What if that doesn’t work? Then willing to do any kind of work.” you try to connect with the friends of your friends, the friends of your family, the acquaintances of your acquaintances, and so on! It’s not about you. While teens need to be able to talk about their career Networking is a vital skill for a job seeker of any age interests, it’s important to remember the golden rule to master. So let’s take a look at the steps to success- of job searches: It’s not about you! Yes, we know that ful networking for teens who want to obtain a job or you want a job that is enjoyable and a good learning internship: experience. However, a teen needs to look at things from the perspective of the hiring employer. First things first. The unspoken question that any employer must ask Some teens who want jobs fail to plan before they start about every job candidate is this: “Will it be worth it to reaching out to others in search of a job. Job seekers me to hire this individual?” Before making an offer, should think through their job search goals first and the employer needs to believe that the benefit of the create a resume. It strikes the wrong chord with an potential employee will outweigh the cost. This is employer if a job seeker asks about a position without true whether an employer is hiring someone making being able to explain what he or she can do. Likewise, $100,000 year, or—believe it or not—an unpaid intern. it strikes the wrong chord to be asked for a resume and have to say, “Can I get back to you about that?” How can that be? Employers are not only think- ing about the financial cost of hiring any worker. Teens should be ready to have something to say about Employees can be costly in plenty of ways that have their skills, interests, and career goals before they nothing to do with money. The biggest cost is time: begin networking. It doesn’t have to be anything10 | 2011 TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS
  • 11. Training and managing an employee takes time, even • Do you know someone who owns her own business?when the employee is terrific. And if the employee is not • Do you have any connections to someone whoso wonderful, then that hiring decision can get to be very works in health care?costly. It’s costly if: • Who do you know that works with technology? • Mistakes are made Quite often, contacts can’t think of any names until • Customers are dissatisfied with service questions like these are asked! Teens can ask for • Time is wasted dealing with a problem employee contact information for these individuals, and then due to tardiness, absence, inaccurate work, or reach out to them. There have been some amazing attitude stories about what persistent teens have been able to do with networking if they patiently keep developing contactsSo as teens start to talk to their network of contacts, they through asking these questions. One student got a terrificneed to ask questions that show that they’re interested in job through her cousin’s boyfriend’s father’s friend!helping out the employer at least as much as they want to Now that is someone who didn’t stop networking untilhelp themselves. she reached her goal! • What kind of help could you really use around your office? Check out other resources. • Do you know someone who could use help Networking is definitely a powerful way to find opportuni- creating a web page? ties, but there are other options, too. TeenLife members have access to Teen Help Wanted, which lists volunteer • Do you know anyone who could use an extra pair opportunities, jobs, and internships open to teens. of hands at work—answering the phone, filing, doing data entry? TeenLife also features listings of great internship programs such as the TEC Internship Program andQuestions like these send out a clear message: You want The Internship Connection. In return for a fee, theseto work, and you want to understand how you can help. organizations will do the heavy lifting when it comes to connecting teens with jobs during vacations or school.Connect, connect, connect. Some also provide career counseling and otherOnce teens have a resume and a clear message, they assistance.need to embrace the fact that networking takes consider- While websites such as Monster and LinkedIn are notable time and effort. Sometimes, a conversation with a so useful for teen job seekers, there are some sites outnext-door neighbor might lead directly to a job oppor- there that might be helpful for those seeking paid, hourlytunity. More often, it may take conversations with a few work. If you Google “teen jobs,” then any number of sitesdozen people to land a job! So network early and often: If will come up. Some, like www.snagajob.com, seem to beteens want a summer job when school ends, they should useful, while others are less so. As always with Internetstart working toward that no later than April. searches proceed with caution.Create a LinkedIn profile and connect with any adults that Lastly, you can pound the pavement and approach localyou know in the professional world. Once you have many businesses to see if they need help. Being a customerLinkedIn connections, a job seeker might learn that she of such businesses definitely helps. Bear in mind thathas an indirect connection to a person who works for a the “cool” businesses—CD and video game stores, forcompany that may be a good match. He/She can ask her example—probably get a ton of applicants. Go after lessonline connection to introduce her to that person. obvious choices.But don’t forget to network the old-fashioned way. Even With a strategic approach and tremendous persistence,if your direct contacts aren’t hiring, you can develop new teens can open doors for themselves with networking. Itcontacts through them by asking smart questions: might not be immediate gratification, but the benefits of • Do you know anyone who manages people in a networking will definitely pay for years to come. large company? TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS 2011 | 11
  • 12. 5 COVER LETTERS When applying for a job, a teenager might not always Yet this is all good news for teens or any other profes- need a cover letter. If personal networking is success- sionals. If the competition is weak, it’s easier to stand ful, a teen—or any job seeker—might be able to jump out as long as you know how the secrets of strong directly ahead to an interview without an intermediate cover letters. Let’s review them now. step. Eventually, though, every professional needs to know how to write an effective cover letter. Curiously, very few job seekers of any age manage to write a Remember the “first date analogy.” powerful and persuasive cover letter. If you went on a first date and your date became Why is that the case, when everyone wants to have a furious with a waiter or waitress over some minor good job? There are three reasons: issue, would your assumption be that your date is just having a bad day? Probably not. You’d probably run Very few professionals are ever taught how to write a screaming in the opposite direction, figuring that an cover letter. individual is probably on their best behavior dur- Everyone knows that communication skills are impor- ing a first date… so why wait to see the rest of their tant to have. Yet very few professionals ever get proper behavior! training or coaching on how to write cover letters or resumes, let alone how to interview effectively or make any kind of presentation. People are left to figure it With job seeking, the equivalent is submitting a cover out, and many don’t. letter that is fraught with typos, spelling errors, and incomplete sentences. In the current economy, In the digital age of recruiting, it’s become a recruiters see dozens of resumes each week—some- little too easy to apply for a job. times they get hundreds if they post a job. Many can- Years ago, it used to be that applying for a job meant didates get ruled out in a matter of seconds because typing a cover letter from scratch, printing out a of a cover letter that looks sloppy due to poor format- resume, and mailing them out. These days, it’s so easy ting or that has a particularly bad spelling error. Just to just keep using the same cover letter repeatedly—or as there is the phenomenon of seven-minute dating. maybe tweaking it slightly—whether or not the content There is perhaps a seven-second scanning practice remains applicable to each job under consideration. when recruiting. The ease of applying for a job should give a candidate more time to craft a customized cover letter, but few candidates take advantage of the opportunity. Don’t take the lazy way out. Candidates rarely get feedback from employers Writing a strong, error-free cover letter is hard about their resumes, interviews, and cover letters. work. As a result, many candidates dont put in the necessary time. They write one cover letter that can Overwhelmed by hordes of online applicants—and be used for any job that they might possibly consider. maybe concerned about the legal consequences of Inevitably, this cover letter is incredibly broad and ge- explaining why they opted against interviewing some- neric. It describes how the individual would be great one—many HR departments do not offer any feedback for a sales job… or working with children… or using a beyond a generic rejection letter—if that—even after computer… or maybe doing some writing. a face-to-face interview. So for those who don’t even make it to a phone screen, they will almost never be This type of letter says many things to a recruiter or told why. That makes it easy to repeat the same mis- hiring manager: takes over and over. • “I’m not all that interested in your specific job.”12 | 2011 TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS
  • 13. • “I can’t be bothered to take the time to try to show administrative work off their plates, tackling a comput- you why I would be a good match for your company.” er project that’s gone undone for weeks, or making 100 phone calls to sell a product or service to a customer. • “I have no idea what I really want to do for a job, so I’m just applying for any job imaginable, hoping that I’ll magically land a job that will make me less A great cover letter is a way for a teen to show maturity. wishy-washy about my career direction.” Immature teens might have trouble thinking beyondDoes that sound harsh? That’s the reality. If you can’t be their selfish interests. Cover letters do need to bebothered to make a special effort for an employer, don’t written well, but it’s perhaps even more important forexpect them to take a special interest in you. them to show some sincere interest in understanding what a company might want and need out of a potential employee.Marry your background to the employer needs.Okay, so teens are a little young to think about marriage.The point here is that cover letters are really an exercisein matchmaking. Candidate Y might be a terrific person,but Employer Z needs more than that. That employerwants someone who will address a need or solve a prob-lem that the organization is facing.Many candidates make the mistake of writing about whythe job would be good for them instead of why they wouldbe good for the job! Employers cringe when they receivecover letters with statements like this: “Working at yourcompany would give me great experience in public rela-tions, and it would provide me with a valuable opportunityto work in a corporate environment.” That doesn’t soundso bad on the surface, right? Employers do want to hireindividuals who are sincerely interested in the job.However, that sort of statement does nothing to show theemployer what’s in it for them. They need to know thatthey will benefit from having you on hand; their primarygoal is not fulfilling the needs of their employees! Jobseekers need to show how they’re going to make lifeeasier for their managers—whether it’s by taking menial TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS 2011 | 13
  • 14. 6 JOB INTERVIEWS For teens, the interviewing process can vary dramati- Candidates should come up with three reasons why cally. In some cases—especially when you have ar- they’re good for the job, and they should be ready ranged a job through interpersonal networking—there to prove that they have those qualities by preparing may be no interview at all! Sometimes there may be an some stories that describe specific times when they extremely brief and informal meeting that could hardly demonstrated those traits. The stories do not have to be called an interview. In this situation, the manager be from previous job experiences; they can be from just might want to make sure that you are presentable classroom situations, sports, and other extracur- and that you have basic social skills, a positive attitude, ricular activities. Anyone can say that they have great and so on. problem-solving skills, but a teen who can describe a specific time when she helped her soccer team stop Still, it’s a good idea to be prepared for the possibil- squabbling and start focusing on winning is proof that ity of a real interview. This is especially true because she has that ability. So candidates need to not only go interviewing skills are sure to come in handy when you into any formal interview with three strategic reasons are applying for colleges or for more advanced jobs why they should be hired, but also there needs to be a in the future. So let’s review a few interviewing story to back each reason up. fundamentals for teens: Dress appropriately for the interview. Do some research and preparation in advance. If it’s a formal interview, ideally a teen will wear a suit. In the age of the Internet, teens always can do some If that’s not possible, then it’s important to at least research before meeting with a potential manager. wear nice pants, a collared shirt, and dress shoes—no Memorizing tons of facts is not necessary, but it’s jeans, t-shirts, sneakers, white socks, and so forth. important to have a good idea of what the organiza- For boys, a shirt and tie is a good idea. For girls, a tion does. If a specific job description is available in nice blouse with a long skirt or dressy pants can work advance—or any information about what your role well. Hair should be neat—pulled back if it’s long— might be—the job seeker should do some homework and facial jewelry should be avoided. about that as well. If it’s a restaurant or store, visiting in advance to get a feel for what the atmosphere is like Arrive early for the interview. is a good idea. This shows interest and enables A teen’s actions will speak much more convincingly you to ask some informed questions. than words when it comes to punctuality. Any job seeker should show up 10-15 minutes early for an interview, being sure to bring along a few copies of a The most important preparation step for any job resume. Showing up earlier is a bad idea, as this can seeker is to think through why they would be a good be awkward for the manager. If arriving at the build- match for that specific job. Candidates should always ing more than 15 minutes early, the candidate should talk honestly about their strengths, but the best idea just take a walk around the block or wait in the car to is to focus on strengths that are relevant to doing the kill time. job well. Talking about having great computer skills is Turn nervous energy into a positive. a good idea for an office job, but it might not be worth It’s normal to be nervous. The key is to use that mentioning for a typical camp counselor job. Likewise, energy to smile, focus on what the interviewer is it’s silly for someone to talk about being a great team saying, and to express excitement about the position. player if they are interviewing for a job that entails fil- Interviewees should not talk about being nervous, as ing documents with no human interaction all day. that will only make the interviewer feel uncomfortable on their behalf.14 | 2011 TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS
  • 15. Don’t dread open-ended questions. • When do you plan to make a hiring decision forInterestingly, many job seekers hate the questions that this position?often start an interview, such as "Tell me about yourself.” • May I have your business card so I can follow upThe problem is that the question feels impossibly broad, with you later?and the interviewee is unsure whether to talk about theirinterests, their schooling, or something else. So how Follow up with a perfectly written thank-you note orshould one handle such a question? A shrewd interviewee e-mail.knows that such questions are an open invitation to talk In a tough job market, little things can make a differ-about the three reasons why they would be good for this ence between getting a job and not getting one. Thesejob: "It’s great to be here today at Pizzeria Uno because I days, a job candidate always should follow up with athink I would be a really good waiter. I’m a hard worker, thank-you note or e-mail. An e-mail should go outI’m good with people, and I can juggle many tasks at the within 24 hours; a handwritten note should be postedsame time. These qualities would make me effective as by the end of the day of the interview. Keep it simple,a waiter.” but, above all else, make sure that the writing is abso- lutely error-free:Prepare some questions to ask at the end of theinterview.At the end of an interview, there is usually an opportunity "Dear Ms. Smith,to ask the interviewer a few questions. If a candidate de-clines to do so, that may send a message that they are not Thanks so much for meeting with me today to talkreally interested in the job! So always ask some questions about the waitress position at your restaurant. It wasthat show real interest in the job: interesting to learn that you value a positive attitude more than job experience when evaluating your staff. • What differentiates a great waiter from an average one at Pizzeria Uno? I am definitely interested in the job and believe that I • How could I best prepare for the job before I start? would provide outstanding customer service to your • I know that you’re looking for summer help, but patrons. I hope that you will consider me for the job, would it be helpful if I could work some part-time and I look forward to hearing from you soon. hours when I go back to school in the fall? Sincerely, Josephine Jobseeker” All of the above tips are basics for interviewing, yet many adults fail to do all of them well. If a teen pre- pares well for the interview and puts a great deal of en- ergy into coming up with a shrewd strategy supported by stories, the potential employer will be impressed. Among teens, those are the individuals who get hired, regardless of skills and experience. TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS 2011 | 15
  • 16. 7 MAKING YOUR JOB A SUCCESS Once you have obtained your job or internship, then What did you do to stand out in your job? Be you need to take steps to ensure that it’s a success- prepared to go the extra mile, as you will have ful experience. As noted earlier, it is entirely possible some great material to discuss when applying that you will discover that the job is not a good match for jobs in the future. What will be the great story for you. Keep this in perspective. After all, it’s not that you can share about a top accomplishment often that people meet the person that they are going in the job? Always look for an opportunity to go to marry on their very first date! Most importantly, above and beyond with that in mind. remember that it’s perfectly okay if you don’t love your • This is an opportunity to figure out what you job… but you absolutely must do the job to the best of want to do in the future. your ability. So let’s start out with some reminders of The more you immerse yourself in the job, the what’s at stake for teenagers who are working. more you will see that this is really a learning opportunity. From doing any job, you will figure out any number of things about yourself: Do you Benefits of Doing Your Job Well like working with customers? Do you enjoy being When you are a good performer, there is much more on a computer? Are you happier doing a wide to be gained than the satisfaction of a job well done. variety of tasks, or do you prefer focusing on one Consider the following: thing at a time? Do you like a fast-paced environ- • Today’s manager is tomorrow’s reference. ment, or does it stress you out? Whatever the When you are applying for jobs in the future, content of the job, there is much to be learned employers often ask to check references by about what you might want to do in the future. talking to your previous supervisor. Your manager But remember: If you don’t like the job, you will be asked a variety of questions: Were you still need to perform really well! Otherwise you punctual? Did you do the job well? Are you a hard might not get a reference for that job that you worker? Do you have a positive attitude? It’s a really want some day. great feeling to go into an interview knowing that your previous supervisor will rave about your Fundamentals of Good Job Performance performance and attitude. There are many pitfalls that teens must avoid in order • You can earn better work by doing your job well. to keep their managers and co-workers happy. These It’s not at all unusual for teens to start off by days, managers sometimes express frustration with doing extremely simple tasks. Some of these the current generation of young adults. A common may be boring work that no one else wants to do. complaint is that young people are not willing to pay However, if you do your work quickly and without their dues: They feel they are entitled to get exciting making any mistakes, you can earn the opportu- work from day one despite their lack of experience. nity to take on more challenging and interesting Managers also get frustrated about smartphones, tasks. Always make that your goal. On the other iPods, and other gadgets in the workplace. So let’s hand, if you don’t show you can handle those review some of the fundamentals of what it will take basic tasks, you’re not going to be asked to take to avoid problems at work. on more advanced assignments! • Be a reliable employee. • When you do a great job, you will have true Believe it or not, most teens do not get fired accomplishments to add to your resume and to from jobs due to bad performance. The most describe in a future interview. common complaints revolve around tardiness and absenteeism. You need to get to work on time and have a minimal number of absences.16 | 2011 TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS
  • 17. And if being late or absent is absolutely unavoidable, in any number of ways. When asked to do such you need to give as much advance notice as possible. tasks, don’t respond by rolling your eyes, sighing, Being late or absent is bad enough, but failing to or groaning. Just say "No problem,” and do it to communicate effectively about it is what really drives the best of your ability. Employees who do grunt managers up the wall. work cheerfully are always appreciated!• Use technology appropriately at work. • Keep your work area neat and organized. These days, many teenagers find it difficult to go even Whether you are a neat freak or a slob when it an hour without reading and sending text messages or comes to your room at home, you want your work making calls to friends. As a result, it’s recommended area to be well organized. Avoid having food and that you simply turn off your phone at work. Likewise, drink in plain view, and come up with a system so you may have a job that entails the use of a computer. you’ll always know where to find things. Unless you are specifically told that it’s okay to use the • Dress appropriately for work. computer to surf the Internet or check your personal Even if you are unpaid and working five hours per e-mail during idle time, don’t use the computer for week, you want to look just as professional as anything but work. We have heard stories of students everyone doing similar work for that employer. So getting fired for using their computer to play fantasy always be sure to dress appropriately and to make football, for example. yourself presentable. If you’re using a work computer for personal activities, • Go above and beyond! it’s relatively easy for your employer to figure that out. Don’t be content to simply do the job. Find out Some companies monitor employees’ e-mails to see what it takes to be the best, and set lofty goals if there is anything inappropriate going on. If you are for yourself. Seek feedback from your manager using your own iPhone or BlackBerry, the company regularly to be sure that your performance is will not be able to read your messages… but they are absolutely on target. Always ask for extra work, likely to notice your lack of productivity. but only after you have successfully completed more basic tasks.• If you have too much or too little work to do, talk to your supervisor about it in a positive, proactive manner. It’s helpful if you don’t think of yourself as "just Don’t be a whiner at work! However, don’t suffer an intern” or "just a student.” Think of yourself silently if you are overwhelmed or underutilized. Let as a member of the work team. As such, offer to your manager know that you’d love more work to do work extra hours if problems arise—just as the if you need it, or request assistance with prioritizing if full-time members do. you have too much going on. • Be careful about mixing business and pleasure.• Ask questions when necessary, but make notes so If you’re the only teen in a work environment, this you don’t have to ask the same questions repeatedly. may be a non-issue. However, some teens work It’s hard for a young employee to know when to among many of their peers in some jobs, such ask questions. It’s normal to fear looking stupid or as camp counselor positions. While it’s always a ignorant. However, you definitely don’t want to do good idea to be friendly toward co-workers, you something wrong and later learn that you made a should not be spending significant amounts of costly mistake. So be sure to ask clarifying questions the day socializing. Likewise, getting romantically when taking on new tasks. Bringing a notebook to involved with a co-worker is a bad idea for any work to keep track of the answers is a good idea, too. number of reasons. So limit how social you are Then you can store up questions and ask several at with co-workers. once instead of interrupting your manager frequently with your questions.• Whatever you’re asked to do, do it as cheerfully as Keeping these tips in mind will ensure that your hard possible. work will pay off for years to come in the form of Sooner or later, you will be asked to do tasks that are references, resume experience, and career direction. boring, repetitive, dirty, frustrating, or unpleasant TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS 2011 | 17
  • 18. 8 STARTING A BUSINESS Working for someone else is not the only option for Ideas for Teen Businesses teenagers. Many entrepreneurial teens have been Here are many ways in which a teen could become an successful in starting a business. While this route is not entrepreneur: for everyone, it is ideal for some. Entrepreneurs have to be self-starters, and they need to have a strong work • Computer repair: If a teen has a knack with ethic. Depending on the business, there may need to be computers, starting a computer consulting some initial investment of money to obtain equipment, business can work out well. Help family, friends, resources, or raw materials. Starting a business can be neighbors, and small businesses by fixing risky in this sense as well: Inevitably, an entrepreneur broken computers, setting up computer learns a great deal from the experience, but the amount networks, or getting rid of viruses. of money he/she might make can vary dramatically.18 | 2011 TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS
  • 19. • Web design: It’s not too difficult to learn HTML and Positives of Being Your Own Employer other tools for designing websites… and almost every Starting your own business can really make you stand business needs one, no matter how small and modest out when applying to colleges or for future jobs. It’s it may be. proof—positive that you have many exciting qualities:• Services for senior citizens: Teen living near elderly initiative, work ethic, creativity, problem-solving skills, members of the community may be able to help out and so forth. Whom would you rather hire? Someone with all sorts of household and shopping errands for who worked as a cashier, or someone who successfully that population. launched their own t-shirt business? As an entrepre- neur, you inevitably have to learn about a wide variety• Landscaping: If you like working outside, you could of areas, including customer service, managing money, have your own landscaping business in the summer. and solving problems. You will tap into those skills Mow lawns, do yard work, water plants and flowers, repeatedly throughout your career. and do any other outdoor tasks for busy professionals in your area. Starting a business also can give you an enormous head start on your career. A big problem for many• Pet care: For those who like animals, you can get college graduates is that they may be smart and involved with pet care. Many teens have dog walking personable, but their resume has nothing related to services, but others may take care of cats and other what they want to do for a career. A teen who started a pets while their owners are away. computer consulting business at age 16 would have a• Household cleaning/organizing: Many busy families good five or six years of experience in that area by the have basements, attics, and garages loaded with stuff time he or she graduates from college! A nursing or that they would love to have cleaned up and organized physical therapy major who once had her own business to remove clutter. A teen with a good organizational helping the elderly with household errands would be skills and a tidy streak could do well in this area. able to prove that she is a responsible, caring person• Social media consulting: Many people over the age of with a sincere interest in helping others. Experiences 40 are lost when it comes to mastering social media like those lead to a huge edge when applying for jobs, applications such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. given that many college graduates have nothing more A teen could help someone create a profile and than classroom experience in their field. manage their settings to avoid security problems. In a similar vein, beginning your own entrepreneurial• Arts and crafts: A crafty teen could make and sell venture will make you grow up a little faster. Compared jewelry, candles, or t-shirts with only a modest to your peers, you probably will have a better idea of investment in supplies, such as beads, silver, and what it takes to be successful and what you want to get wax. These items can be sold at craft fairs, online, in out of your college years. local shops, or through networking with friends and If all of this sounds appealing, check out the resources families. If a teen isn’t sure if his or her experience is below. sufficient, why not attend a TeenLife-affiliated sum- • Millionaire Kids-If you want to be your own em- mer camp to master the art? ployer and still have a successful business, visit• Blogging: A teen who is passionate on a topic and this website for ideas, tips, advice, lists of jobs, who has good writing skills could turn that into cash. and more to help you make money even if youre Increasingly, businesses are looking for people who too young to work. can write short blogs on all sorts of topics: sports, • Ideas for Entrepreneurs-Read this article on bullying, fashion, and technology. Doing a Google businesses teens started over the summer for search on “online writing jobs for teens” can get a inspiration on how you can create your own teen started. successful business. • Tips for Entrepreneurs-Read this article to learn tips on how to become a successful entrepreneur. TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS 2011 | 19
  • 20. 9 GETTING PAID As we have discussed in other sections, some • Understand how the teen’s age affects how teenagers get paid jobs while others opt to volunteer. much they work and what work he or she can do. While most teens would prefer to earn money, it’s If teens are under 16 years of age, there are important to understand that there are any number of additional regulations that may come into play. steps that need to be taken with paid jobs to ensure When under 16, a teen cannot work as a cook or that a teen is working legally and set up to be paid baker—unless the work is performed right at the appropriately. We’ll review the fundamentals here. service counter. Likewise, a 14-or 15-year-old can’t load or unload trucks or work in jobs re- lated to construction or manufacturing. During Work Permits the school year, most kids under 16 cannot work The existence of work permits and labor laws limit- more than three hours on school days, more ing how and at what age teens may work might be than eight hours on weekdays or holidays, or perceived to be annoying red tape by many teenagers more than 18 total hours per week. During vaca- and their families. There is some truth to this, but it’s tions, a 40-hour work week is the maximum. important to realize that these laws and processes • Apply for the work permit immediately after were created to prevent teens from being exploited. obtaining the job. Teens should not be overworked and underpaid, and As soon as a job obtained, go to your school’s they should not be handling dangerous tasks. administrative office, bringing proof of your date As a result, teens often need to obtain work permits. of birth and a resume. It should take less than a These give employers assurance that they won’t be week to get the work permit. prosecuted for hiring underage workers. The good news is that work permits are free and relatively Making Money and Paying Taxes easy to obtain. Here are the steps: Once you have a paid job, how much money should • Obtain a job—one that is not dangerous. you expect to make? While the federal minimum A teen needs to be offered a job before apply- wage is $7.25 per hour, there are plenty of excep- ing for a work permit; you can’t get one without tions for teen employees. Workers earning tips may knowing exactly what the job would entail. Teens make just $2.13 per hour plus tips. Workers under generally can’t work with powerful equipment, 20 can be paid just $4.25 per hour for their first 90 such as meat slicers, bakery ovens, and forklifts. consecutive days of employment. However, minimum Riskier jobs in areas such as roofing and wage laws only apply to businesses that make at least demolition would be a problem, too. $500,000 in revenue each year. In any event, pay can • Find out whether the teen needs a work permit. vary widely. In most states, any teen under the age of 18 When joining the ranks of money makers, it may help needs a work permit. Check with your school’s teens to understand the purpose of income taxes. guidance counselor to find out the rules for your Some teens may be frustrated to learn that they state. Typically, a work permit applicant requires aren’t receiving all of the money that they earned. proof of the student’s age, a resume, and the No one likes to see how many taxes were taken out work permit application itself. Teens under the of their paychecks. Income taxes are used for law age of 14 typically can’t work in paid positions, enforcement, aid to foreign countries, improvements though exceptions are made for camp counselors to road and highways, space exploration, and military and golf caddies. spending among many other things. Understanding20 | 2011 TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS
  • 21. the purpose of taxes might help teens accept why they Receiving Paymentare a fact of life. Once a teen is all set with Uncle Sam, the next step isWhat does a teen need to do to receive payment without to make sure that it’s convenient and easy to receiverunning into problems? pay. There are a few simple but important moves to make at this time. • Be aware of tax laws. Teen employees do need to pay taxes, whether they • Set up a bank account. are under 18 or not. Also, if a teen exceeds a specific If a teen doesn’t have a bank account yet, now is amount of earnings in a given calendar year, he or she the time to make that happen. This will be enable will need to file an income tax form. For 2010, teens employers to pay via direct deposit to the bank ac- earning more than $5,700 from an employer need to count if they are so inclined. Most bank accounts file an income tax form. Those making just $400 or pay very little these days in the form of interest, more from self-employment also need to file: This but having an account is a necessary step to cash includes money earned from babysitting, mowing checks and receive payment, and it also will help lawns, and so on. Even teens who do not work at all with recordkeeping as well as with the basics of may need to file an income tax form if investments managing money. made in their name earned $900 or more for the year. • Self-employed teens should set up a PayPal • Complete a W-4 form upon getting hired. account. The employer will ask any new hire to complete this For teens starting their own business, setting form upon getting hired. It typically includes name, up a PayPal account is a great way to make it address, and social security number, and it asks the convenient for customers to make payments with teen to claim some number of withholding allow- a credit card. Once you have set up an account, ances. Guidelines for how to determine this number PayPal will send out emails whenever payments are included on the form, but the number will almost have been made to the account. always be 0 for teens. One of several rare exceptions • Teens should keep records of their earnings. would be if no one could claim the teen as a Somewhere—in a notebook or an Excel dependent. spreadsheet—teens should track their • Pay taxes. earnings. This is especially true for those who If a tax form needs to be filed, it tends to be straight- are self-employed, who also should keep tabs forward. An employer must send all employees a W-2 on any expenses. When it comes time to file an form each year summarizing the employee’s earn- income tax form or make an estimated tax pay- ings. That data can be plugged in to form 1040EZ— ment, it can be a nightmare without some sort of just one form with a second page of worksheets. Self- records or data in hand. Document all payments, employed teens should be able to use Schedule C EZ. and many headaches will be avoided. Either way, filing electronically should be possible. • Self-employed teens may need to be aware of paying Following this advice will avoid problems and get estimated taxes. teens started on the path to understand good money If teens are on a trajectory of making $400 or more management skills for the rest of their lives. per year, then estimated tax payments need to be made to the government every three months: April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15. When paying, the individual tries to take into account what they expect to make—and owe in taxes—by the end of the year. Checks can be made using Form 1040-ES or via the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). The latter makes it easy to set up and track any payments. TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS 2011 | 21
  • 22. 10 INTERNSHIP & CAREER ADVISORS In the section on Choosing Your Path, we talked about Other tools are available as well. A career advisor how a teen can reflect on his or her values, interests, or coach may give these tests and also ask other personality, and skills in order to begin exploring a questions that will give a teen some ideas about career direction. Later, in the section on Networking career direction. It’s important to understand that and Finding Opportunities, we reviewed how it may be these services will not lead to a magical proclama- possible for teens to find jobs through interpersonal tion: “According to the tests, your destiny is to become networking, job boards, and so on. a certified public accountant!” Typically, a teen will emerge from this process with a nice range of options However, these are not the only options available to across several college majors—all consistent with the you. Families can hire a career advisor, career coach, themes that emerge from testing and/or conversa- or a psychologist who specializes in career issues to tion. A teen who is somewhat introverted and who provide insight about appropriate paths. Likewise, likes math, languages, and problem solving may be there has been a recent trend toward businesses that encouraged to consider options that include computer will find a customized internship for teens at a local science, music, industrial engineering, business business. Some links to such organizations can be analysis, and supply chain management. found at the bottom of this section. There are also some organizations that might serve both functions— When looking at the results, it’s important to not take giving some career direction to a teen and then lining them too literally. If “minister/clergyman” comes up up a placement. as a possible career, it doesn’t mean that the teen needs to even consider that area if it seems unappeal- With this in mind, let’s review how these options might ing. What that result might be saying, however, is work for those who are interested. that the individual might want to consider any number of careers that might have similar elements to what Career Advisors or Coaches a member of the clergy does most of the time. Some options might include clinical psychologist, social A career advisor or coach is someone who can be hired worker, guidance counselor, nurse practitioner, or to help a teen build greater awareness about career human resources professional. As you can see, that’s opportunities and how they match up with the teen’s quite a variety. values, skills, personality, and interests. Often, these professionals will be certified as administrators and The goal of working with a career advisor is not interpreters of tests that may be useful in this process. necessarily to decide on a be-all, end-all career. The The best known test is probably the Myers-Briggs Type main thing is to rule in—and rule out—some career Indicator, a questionnaire that builds awareness of paths and to take steps in the right general direction. one’s personality type. How long would you work with a career coach or That said, some other tests might be more help- advisor? It would vary depending on your goals. In ful when it comes to helping a teen determine what some instances, it may be possible to do just two or careers to explore. The Campbell Interest and Skill three sessions for an interview and testing, generally Survey (CISS) is a 25-minute test that can be given culminating in a report. to individuals 15 and older. It can be a useful tool for college-bound students. The Strong Interest Inven- Internship Advisors tory is also a highly respected tool for helping students become aware of their interests, preferences, and Like career advisors, internship advisors charge a personal styles. fee—anywhere from several hundred dollars to a few 22 | 2011 TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS
  • 23. thousand dollars. What do you get for your money?It can vary, but typically you also receive careercounseling in order to determine what sort of jobwould be the best match. The difference is that aninternship advisor usually will go further than that,taking steps to help a teen land a job. Some servicesalso provide assistance in writing resumes, preparingfor interviews, and ensuring that the intern receivesfeedback and recommendations that may proveuseful when applying to college. Some internshipadvisors only offer local positions, while others mayprovide out-of-state opportunities as well.Is an internship advisor right for you? The answer tothat will depend very much on your goals, resources,and connections. If your sense is that it will be difficultfor you to put significant time and energy into makingsomething happen on your own—or if you believethat your own personal connections are limited—aninternship advisor can help. Of course, though, youwill want to ask several questions upfront about thetype of job you can realistically expect given yourgoals and background.Here are some good questions to ask: • Am I guaranteed to obtain a job? • Do I still owe any money if I fail to get a job? • Can you give me a sense of the types of organizations that hire interns through you? • How many hours per week do students typically work? And for how many weeks or months? • What kind of job could I realistically expect as a teen with limited skill and experience? • How much help do you provide to teens with regard to writing resumes, preparing for interviews, and succeeding on the job? • What steps are taken to ensure that a teen will have a good learning experience as opposed to just being cheap or free labor?Basically, you want there to be no surprises in termsof what you’re getting for your payment. With clarityon those issues, internship advisors definitely can bea useful resource for some teens and their families. TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS 2011 | 23
  • 24. About TeenLife Visit www.teenlife.com WHO WE ARE TeenLife is the "go to” resource for parents, teens, and educators actively looking for meaningful learning experiences—regionally, nationally, and internationally—for students. Our award-winning site, handy guides, and face-to-face events feature an extensive number of opportunities, programs, and services that "bring out the best” in teens. WHAT WE DO Few students, parents, and educators have the time, resources, or knowledge to research interesting, experiential learning opportunities for teens. So, we do it for them. TeenLife scours the Internet and teen resources for new information and ideas on a continual basis. Our proprietary database containing thousands of listings for teens is unmatched by any other source.24 | 2011 TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS
  • 25. We are the "go to” resource for students, parents,and educators who are seeking programs, products,and services geared to teens aged 13-19 in theUnited States.BECOME A MEMBER. ITS FREE!Information is offered online at Teenlife.comand through monthly e-Newsletters, e-mailcommunications, and printable guides in anumber of categories. Families andtheir teens can also explore opportunitiesat live events, school and student fairs, andcorporate meetings. Students, parents, andeducators are encouraged to register for freeand experience the comprehensive natureof our resources!For more information about TeenLife, e-mailinfo@teenlife.com or call (617) 277-5120. Programs,schools, service providers, and other organizationswho want to be listed on our site should contactlistings@teenlife.com. JOIN TEENLIFE.COM NOW! TEENLIFE GUIDE TO JOBS & INTERNSHIPS 2011 | 25
  • 26. Finally… a resource for families with teens.Not babies. Not little kids. Teens.!"#$%&"()*+(,)-(#"&(&."%"(/""(0"01"(1")"2&%3( 4(5677(,88"%%(&*(&.*6%,)-%(*/(7*8,79(),&$*),7(,)-($)&"),&$*),7(7$%&$)#%( 4(:(0*)&.7;()"+%7"&&"(/",&6$)#(,)(6<8*0$)#(8,7")-,(,)-(,&$87"%(&,$7*"-(&*(/,0$7$"%(+$&.(&"")%( 4(=<"8$,7(*//"%(/*0(*6(<,&)"%( 4(:88"%%(&*(>?"")(@"7<AB,)&"-C(7$%&$)#%TeenLife features activities that families with teens care about, including: Summer Community Gap Year College Independent Jobs & Local Programs Service Programs Admissions Schools Internships Resources www.teenlife.comREGISTER NOW! GO TO WWW.TEENLIFE.COM AND CLICK ON “REGISTER.”

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