How to Apply for Jobs Online for Teens

by Chris Sherwood, eHow contributor.

[with additional comments by Bob King,

Associate Director, Employment Services,

Memorial Assistance Ministries]


1.  Start Early.


If you want to find a job to start in June when school is out, start looking for that job in January.  Most kids wait until Spring Break to look for their summer jobs, and often they find that earlier applicants have snatched up the best opportunities.  January is when many employers have openings as seasonal employees leave their jobs and go back to school.  If you can work even 10 hours a week while going to school, this is how you gain a huge advantage:  by getting started early.  By the time the summer rolls around, you already know your job.  You might even be a supervisor of other summer hires that way.


Even if you can’t start working early, being the early applicant puts you at the front of the line for consideration.  Don’t procrastinate – start looking for that job early on.


2.  Have realistic goals.


Develop a tier system.  Rank the jobs you seek into three levels based on how hard they are to obtain.  Tier one, for a teenager, would involve jobs that normally require a degree or a good amount of experience to land, but that sometimes can be landed by an inexperienced worker. Good examples [of tier one office jobs] would be receptionist and administrative jobs [or business internships].  Other tier one jobs might include physical work like construction or apprenticeships for skilled trades.  Your second tier would be jobs that do not necessarily require a degree, but still have a semi-competitive hiring process.  These jobs would include grocery stores, convenience stores or "sit-down" restaurants.  The third tier would be composed of fast food jobs.


3.  Match the job with your availability.


Weed out jobs that require more hours than you can work, or that require you to work hours that conflict with your schedule, such as during school.


4.  Search online for each of your prospective employers' Web sites.


Most of them will have either a link to submit a resume or their entire application online.  Make sure you have all the information that they may request (past jobs, phone numbers of past supervisors, references, Social Security number).  Make sure while filling out applications that you never leave anything blank, and adhere to proper English usage and grammar.  [While applying for a job, lose the texting lingo and acronyms.  It looks immature, at a time when you are trying to be seen as mature.]


5.  Starting with your top tier jobs first, submit your resumes and applications.


If the Web site says to pick up an application in person, then do so.  In my experience hiring employees, I was much more likely to hire someone who came into my office well dressed to drop off an application in person, than someone who just sent me an application or resume online.


6.  Communicate using mostly traditional methods.


The best form of communication is a face-to-face meeting.  When an employer can put a face to a name to a resume, you’ll have the best chance of getting hired.  The second best form is a telephone call.  Voice communicates so much more than words on a page.  Third best is an email.  You can use email when it’s clear the employer prefers it, but often emails from prospective employees do not get read.  And forget about texting.  Text messages are for talking to your friends, not communicating with a prospective employer.


7.  If you get rejected on tier one, move to tier two.


If you get rejected on tier two, than move to tier three.  There is nothing wrong with working at a fast food restaurant.  After you have sent in applications, make a follow up call about three days later to ensure they received your information.  It will keep you fresh in their mind and will indicate a strong desire for the job.  [Many candidates fail to get hired because they fail to follow up.  Often you must follow up multiple times to get noticed.  It is tempting to think that “the ball is in their court” on your application – but the ball is NEVER in their court.  It’s always YOUR responsibility to keep following up.  Don’t think it will make you look too pushy.  As long as you are polite about it, persistence is a favorable trait that will look good to employers.]


8.  If you're really having a hard time thinking of places where you'd like to work, or if you just want to make sure that you are only applying to places that are hiring, your newspaper is a great place to look.  Go to your local newspaper's Web site and click the link to the classified section.



Tips & Warnings


When going to get an application in person, wear nice clothing.  First impressions are key.  I have never hired anyone who dropped off an application wearing jeans and a T-shirt. 


When attending your interview always dress appropriately.  For men wear at least a button-up shirt.  If it's for a tier 2 or 1 job wear a tie.  No jeans!  If you are a woman, wear appropriate business clothing.


Neatly kept hair and no visible tattoos or body piercing.  Remember, you have the right to self-expression.  But employers have the right to decide who they want to hire.  Normally, wild hair styles, visible tattoos and unusual body piercing make customers uncomfortable.  And if your look is apt to make customers uncomfortable, you won’t be hired.



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