Do You Know A Teen Who Needs A Summer Job? Tell Them To Start Looking Now

9 years ago

Media outlets throughout the country are carrying an Associated Press article by Eileen Alt Powell with the lead paragraph,

Albertsons supermarket said "no." So did Macy's department store and a local grocer.

As I write this, my 19-year-old has her summer job locked up--she will be returning to her old job as a barista at Caribou Coffee. Actually she will be a shift manager this year. She is looking forward to working 40 hours a week. So am I. On the other hand, my 24 -year -old is job searching. He has unexpectedly found himself unemployed this week. He was working on a political campaign but his candidate-- and my very good friend Terri Bonoff--experienced what the politicos call a "stunning upset" by losing the DFL endorsement for the Minnesota 3rd district U.S. Congressional seat.

It was a job he thought he would have until November. My son  is not worried. A veteran of the local restaurant scene he is confident he can pick up restaurant work until he lands something more substantial. In a slowing economy, according to the AP article, my 24- year-old son is a teenager's worse nightmare.

The downturn means teens may find themselves competing with unemployed adult job seekers at a time businesses are trying to hold down costs.

Still, experts say kids will find both paying and volunteer work this summer — but it may require more persistence than in recent years.


The news about the tight summer job market for teens is being covered from Phoenix to Boston. However,Ms Bart takes issue that recent tax cuts could cause the city of Boston to lose a program of summer jobs for at risk urban youth.


Well, this is a load of horse hooey. We're actually anticipating labor shortages on Cape Cod (60 miles south of Boston) and other vacation destinations in the state. In April, the New York Times reported that the Cape Cod Tourism bureau was hosting job fairs across the country -- a first for them. Between limitations in the availability of H2B visas and the incredibly strong Euro, foreign workers won't be as available. Now, people taking these jobs won't be sitting in an air-conditioned office making copies or answering phones. They'll be steaming clothes in retail shops, stripping linens in motels, and bussing tables at restaurants. These jobs are not glamourous, but perfectly respectable. promotes itself as the #1 source for hourly employment. It did a survey about the outlook for summer jobs for teens. It's CEO, Shawn Boyer says while there will be job, teens need to get started early to find them. From HR Observations,


An interesting comment in the survey said that over half of the over 1000 managers surveyed felt that teens today do not have the work ethic that previous generations have had. Well that is not a new complaint about Gen Y. I wonder however, if it is not so much a comment about work ethic as it is engagement. In this era where teens live in a short-attention span world work just may not be interesting enough to hold a teen's attention. If you are constantly bombarded by stimulation from music, TV, phones, etc. is stuffing fries in a bag really going to be that interesting? And if it is not interesting do you really want to do it? Not me.

Eve Tahmincioglu of MSNBC has also written about the summer job situation for teens and shares these strategies for landing a summer job.

Steven Rothberg, president and founder of, offers this advice for high school and college kids to target their search. If a student is looking for a retail job in Chicago, for example, he suggests posting a resume and applying on two or three big general boards, like Monster and Careerbuilder and well as several regional or college sites.

Then, he adds, "set up job match alerts or RSS feeds so that when new matching positions are posted the sites will notify you. Apply to those jobs as they come up, but otherwise don’t go back to the sites after your initial visit."

Job boards should only be part of the "Spend the rest of your time networking," Rothberg advises. "About 90 percent of job openings go unadvertised, yet about 90 percent of candidates apply only to advertised job openings." Since teens are the cyber networking generation, don’t forget to connect with your contacts on sites like FaceBook. Put out the word that you’re looking for work, and your online friends may be able to hook you up.

Elana blogs about business culture at FunnyBusiness

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