By Mary Humphreys, American High School, Fremont, CA
The difficulty of finding a job is something people everywhere are experiencing. Teenagers are not any different. Teenagers these days spend months and even years job hunting, hoping and praying to be hired, and coming up empty handed. Application after application, interview after interview, students just are not getting anywhere, and others just do not know what they are doing wrong.
Students are becoming desperate, needing a job to make extra money. As students mature, so do their expenses. With college just around the corner and new expenses popping up such as gas bills and insurance for driving students, the need for a job is becoming more urgent.
“I’ve been looking for a job for two and a half years, I need to find a job to save up money for college and not have any financial worries,” junior Kristen Campos said. “I’ve applied at a lot of fast food places and a couple of office places. A few places interviewed me on the spot and other times I would talk to the hiring manager to put in a good word for myself and then I turned in the application and waited to see what would happen.”
This is the same process for all job seeking individuals and the process many people follow, but still a few students are getting hired. Not every attempt is a failure though. There are still teens that have jobs and have stumbled across the correct path to getting hired.
“I started looking in early May late June and in July I started,” senior Deepika Sharma said. “I heard about it from some students I know who volunteered there, so I looked into it. I started out volunteering, but then they offered me a job.”
Of the few success stories, there were specific steps those students had to take in order to become part of the working population, steps that many students miss when applying for jobs.
“The number one thing students forget is to contact the manager within 48 hours of turning in your application,” ROP Marketing teacher, Mr. Marsh, said. “You need to ask to make sure the manager received your application, and then ask what the next steps are. You can’t put in your application and wait for an email, you have to be proactive.”
Many students don’t know to do this, hoping that a convincing resume and a job application will be enough, but that is far from the case. Communication with the management is a key part of getting hired.
“At the end of the interview always take a business card from your interviewer. That way you can send a thank you email or letter to them after your interview,” Marsh said.
Students also should be well prepared for an interview, having practiced and being prepared to answer questions that may be thrown at you.
“One thing asked in almost every interview is ‘why should I hire you?’ You need to be ready to answer that question.” Marsh said.
Another key part of the interviewing process is looking the part. A first impression is important, and physical appearance can play a major role.
“You need to look good and look appropriate for the place and job you’re applying for,” work permit coordinator, Mr. Lindsay, said.
There is good news though, more students have been getting hired this year than in the past years.
“About 40 students have work permits here [American High School] and there are probably more who just haven’t had them renewed,” Lindsay said. “There are more this year than in the last couple of years, which have been kind of slow.”
In addition to general employment rate rising, the holiday season approaching will also mean more businesses with “Help Wanted” signs on their windows, something that students definitely should take advantage of.
“I already know a student who got hired for the holiday season,” Marsh said. “The student took a form, got an interview, and got hired soon after.”
Though the holiday season means more businesses may be hiring, it does not mean that a job is guaranteed. There is a lot of steps and perseverance involved that leads to all hiring success stories.
“You need to be persistent,” Lindsay said. “there are a lot of people looking and not a lot of jobs.
Job hunters must put themselves out there and keep trying. They take advantage of the holiday seasons and when other opportunities present themselves. They must keep open communication with the hiring staff and managers and then all the trials and errors will result in success stories.the original article from hsj.org, written by Mary Humphreys