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Job Search Tips

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by: Carla Banfield

Before you start looking for a job, it is important to take some time to decide what you want to do. Even though you may not have experience, there are a variety of positions available for teens.

For example, if you love animals, check with local veterinarians to see if they are hiring. If you'd prefer working with children, check with schools or the YMCA (many have after-school child care programs and summer camps) or child care centres. Fast food restaurants and retail establishments rely on workers without experience and are willing to train new employees. Local libraries often hire teens to help put away books.

Take some time to explore options. Keep in mind that your first few jobs will provide a good opportunity to find out what you want to do - and what you don't.

Put together a simple resume

Many first time or part time job seekers don't believe they need a resume, or think that "well, I don't really have anything to put on a resume, so why bother?" Two reasons; first, having a resume to give to the prospective employer shows you've put some effort into finding a job. Secondly, it allows you to showcase those things about you that you want the employer to remember. Having a printed resume sets you apart from the crowd. Even if you have no work experience, you can still give the employer an idea of who you are, and what your strengths are. If all you've done is baby-sit your little brother, put it down in writing. Emphasize the skills you learned while baby-sitting, the challenges you overcame, and so on.

Appearance matters

Make sure when you head out the door, that you are well groomed and well dressed. You don't need to be in a suit, just make sure you look presentable.

Prepare for "No"

Before you go apply anywhere, you need to prepare yourself for rejection. That's right. Nobody, and I mean, nobody, gets accepted every single place they apply for a job. As a first time job seeker, you need to mentally prepare for someone to say, "No". There's nothing wrong with a store owner saying to you, "I'm sorry, we don't need anyone right now." However, there is a right and a wrong way to respond to a business owner or manager who says they have no need for you. If you get a "No, I'm sorry" (and everyone will!), respond by saying, "Well, if you do need someone in the future, please give me a call. I'll leave you a copy of my resume. Thanks for your time."

Stand up straight and be mature

Not to sound like your parents, or anything, but…

Go to each of the employers on your list, walk in the door, and ask for that job. Keep your head up, maintain eye contact, have a firm handshake, and be confident. Employers look for certain qualities when a jobseeker walks in the door. Foremost of those qualities is the candidate's ability to communicate.