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Parents: How to Help Your Teen Look for a Job

Whether your teen has an occasional pet-sitting gig or has never worked before, getting their first real part-time job is a big milestone. The added responsibility of holding a consistent job teaches them lots of things, like how to manage their time, keep track of their money, make new connections, and potentially contribute to their college fund.

Your teen should be the one driving the pursuit of finding a job. But as a parent you can help coach them through the process. Here are five ways you can help your teen look for a job:

1. Help them consider how having a job will impact them.

Your teen might be too focused on how much money they could earn to fully understand the impact of having a job. Talk with them before they start looking for a job to make sure they have the right expectations. Ask them questions like:

Transportation — How do they plan to get to their job and back?

Timing — Is this the right time for them to get a job? Will their work schedule interfere with a summer vacation, sports season, or other big pre-planned event?

2. Brainstorm job possibilities that align with their interests.

Your teen’s first job isn’t going to be rocket science and likely won’t align with their career aspirations. But they could match some of traits or interests to help them identify what type of jobs to look for. For example, if they enjoy being outdoors then a lifeguard or camp counselor opportunity could be appealing.

3. Encourage them to write a resume.

This is a good time to get your teen in the practice of writing a resume (and cover letter) when applying for a job. While they probably won’t need a resume for their first job, it gets them in the habit of listing their accomplishments, skills and experiences. Take a look at their resume when they are done to review and provide feedback. Not sure how to get started? Check out our sample resume here.

4. Help guide the job finding process.

Your teen is going to have to do a lot of the legwork here, but you can give them ideas on where to look. They most likely have friends who have jobs that would be good resources for your teen. Other good sources are high school counselors, local job boards and employer websites. Even in this digital age it can still be effective to walk into a business and simply ask if they are hiring.

5. Assist with interview prep.

Especially for these entry-level jobs, employers are most concerned about filling the role with people who have a good attitude and are committed. They look for cues at the interview that show your teen is reliable, teachable, and actively listens. Encourage them to dress up for the interview, make good eye contact, and ask a few questions at the end. Be willing to help them practice for the interview so they feel more prepared and confident.

From finding the right college to paying for it, we have all sorts of tools to help your teen navigate their path to adulthood. Learn more.


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