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Snag That Summer Job -- Surviving High School Series: For Teens & The Adults That Love Them

by Liz Anastasi on 2018-05-16T10:00:00-04:00 | 0 Comments


For teens and the adults that love them


Getting ready to look for summer jobs & internships? Now is the time. It can be a stressful experience, especially when it is mixed in with the chaos of finals and the end of the school year, but with some persistence and these tips you will be a working teen in no-time. 


Conquering That Resume

The key to snagging that summer job is a solid resume. There really isn’t a whole lot of mystery behind developing and writing a good resume. What is a resume, anyway? Basically it is an outline that highlights how amazing you are and why an employer should hire you; your work experience, skills and talents.  It does take some time and effort -- and a good set of eyes to spell check and proofread it -- but if you are a serious job-seeker you will need a stellar resume.


The basics of a good resume come down to three key things:

  1. Make sure to put correct and current contact information on your resume. An employer can't get in contact with you if they don’t know who you are and your phone number/email.
  2. No spelling mistakes or typos.
  3. Consistent formatting.

Be sure to check out the GPL Teen Website for sample resumes and resume building worksheets on creating your dream resume.


How can I get a job if I have no work experience?

No worries. Most teen job applicants don't have paid work experience, but that doesn't mean you are not a great possible employee. Whether your work experience was paid or unpaid it is still work experience and chances are you learned valuable job skills! This is your chance to zero-in on all those life experiences and the skills you developed like being punctual, being responsible, customer service, working well with people, working independently and in a group, and more.  


All of those times you babysat for your neighbor, helped at your uncle’s landscaping business, managed the cash register at your parent’s restaurant, organized your school club bake sale, or completed a project for scouts,  they are all work experience. Volunteering is another great way to gain experience that can be added to your resume and job applications. Why not become a Teen Volunteer at Greenburgh Public Library, help at animal shelters, volunteer at the food pantry, and more.


Searching & Applying for Jobs

You have decided you want to get a job, but now what? Where do you look? There are quite a few good websites that you can check out, many of which even have teen-centered sections.


Don’t get overlooked! Make sure when you are applying for a job to follow all the instructions written in a job description or posting and make sure you give the employer all the information they ask for.  If you miss something like: 1. Not submitting a cover letter when it is asked for or 2. Providing only two references when three are required, it may limit the chances of you being considered for the position. “But why?” you may ask. Following all the directions in a job posting shows that you are paying attention, able to correctly follow directions, and are serious enough about applying for the job that you took the time and energy to follow all the required steps to the letter.


Acing the Interview

Ok so you wrote your resume, applied for jobs, and now they want you to come in for an interview… now what do you do?

  • Do your research - become familiar with the business you are applying to before your interview.
  • Dress to impress - make it professional
  • Be punctual - arrive 10 to fifteen minutes before your scheduled interview
  • Be respectful, listen carefully and answer knowledgeably
  • Have a few informed questions prepared to ask your employer
  • Bring a folder with multiple copies of your resume, cover letter, and list of references
  • Greet and thank the interviewer with a firm handshake.
  • Silence your cell phone during the interview.
  • Always write or email a “thank you” note to your interviewer within 24 hours after your interview.

Be sure to check out these great interview resources too!


Rounding Up Your References
When you apply for a job, chances are the employer will ask for either a list of references or letters of recommendation from people who can vouch for your work ethic.

  • Who can you ask to be a reference/recommendation? Teachers, former/present employers, volunteer supervisors, guidance counselors, scout leaders, etc. Just don’t list your close relatives. Your grandma may think you are amazing but she also may be a bit biased.
  • Make sure to ask people in advance if they will be your reference and each time you list someone as a reference for a job be sure to give them a heads up so they know to expect a call/email and can prepare themselves.
  • Make sure to include the following info for each reference: full name, title, business where they work, address, phone email, and relationship to you.


Don’t Forget Your Working Papers

If you are a teen working in New York State and are between 14 and 17 years old your employer will require working papers. According to NYS Department of Labor, “Working papers serve as your official employment certificate. Working papers were established to make sure businesses do not work you too many hours while you are in school and in the summer as well.”

  • To get your working papers if you are in school: Go to your guidance office and ask for a working papers application. If you are not in school just go to the school nearest to where you live and they can provide you with the application.
  • For more details be sure to check out



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