An awesome and fun summer job is what every teen is looking for. We have compiled a comprehensive guide for teenagers that will enable them to find and secure a great summer job in 2016!
We suggest teens first read through the suggestions about summer job pre-interview, interview and post-interview tips. Afterwards, read the below suggestions as to the best websites to find your awesome summer job.
Paying for help to find a summer job; what you need to know.
Some websites list summer jobs and offer teens help connecting them with a prospective employer. This method, in many instances, takes advantages of teenagers and offers no real help in finding an employer offering summer jobs. When a website requires any money from a teen seeking a summer job move on quickly. No reputable website offering real help connecting teens with summer job employers will ever require money from teenagers.
Using a job search website to locate summer jobs in your area.
Summer jobs search websites, including those that offer listings of summer jobs for teens, can be helpful to teens that limit their search to those websites that either focus on lists of employers that offer jobs for teenagers, rather than summer jobs for adults. For instance, websites such as Linkedin are not teenager friendly so are not a good place to connect to an employer offering summer jobs, at least not for teens.
Instead, look for websites that have, at their core, a teen base. Here you’ll find teenagers in all areas of the country talking about their past summer jobs and how they liked their employer. In many cases these teenagers will share employment postings from their employer. Employers know that teens looking for summer jobs will seek out the advice of other teenagers so they will often ask employees to help fill an open slot for a summer job.
Remember to limit your summer job searches to where you live, either by zip code or by city. Finding a perfect list of summer jobs doesn’t help if you find out those employers are located many miles from your home. But when you find a good site remember to share it with other teens looking for summer jobs. When all teenagers get together to help, it’s easy to find a great list of employers looking for teens to fill their summer job positions.
Deciding whether a summer job is right for you.
Summer jobs vary, some teens like indoor summer jobs to get out of the sun, other teenagers look for employers offering summer work that keeps them outside. Find the summer job that will make you happy for the entire season. Starting a summer job only later to find that you don’t like the work makes you have to start over again. And remember, all teenagers are searching for summer jobs at the same time so employers will have a lot of applications.
Applying for your first summer job.
Applying for summer jobs can be a little different than a job that you’ll have year round. First, employers know that teens will not be expecting to stay employed in the non-summer months. Always make sure that an employer is really looking for teens to fill open summer jobs or you may find that the employer expects year round employment.
Once you locate a good summer job that you want to apply for make sure that you have a good resume and cover letter. You can find examples here. A teenager with a good resume will set him or her apart from other teens and is more likely to impress employers and have his pick of awesome and fun summer jobs.
Be sure any prospective employer for a summer job sees that you are reliable. If this isn’t your first summer job make sure you let this employer know you’re a reliable teen by showing your past work history. Summer jobs require a commitment by teenagers and employers want to be sure you’ll stay the entire season.
Preparing for your summer job interview.
A summer job interview may, in some cases, be somewhat different than a non-summer job interview. An employer hiring for a summer job might ask a teenager to give a CPR demonstration or ask the applicant to demonstrate their swimming abilities. For teens, in most cases, the standard rules of interviewing apply. Below, teenagers will find everything they need to know about interviewing for a summer job.
- Prepare a thorough and detailed assortment of questions that you can ask the employer about both the company and the summer job. Teens should definitely ask questions about who the company’s customers are, specific questions about the company (such as how large their market share is), how many current employees the company has and a list of summer job duties.
- Before the interview, be prepared to tell the prospective employer when you can start. Many employers for summer jobs like to hire teens on the spot. This may sometimes conflict with a teenager’s school schedule.
- Be prepared to take a drug test on the day you interview for the summer job. Please don’t be offended. The employer isn’t singling you out. Many times, the job duties for a particular job involve an employer to be absolutely sure that they are choosing the right teenager for the job – i.e. lifeguard.
- Prior to the summer job interview, search the web for as many details you can find out about the company. Teenagers will show the prospective employer that they care about the company and not just there to earn some extra cash.
- Teens should spend some time before their first summer job interview practicing their interviewing skills. Sometimes it helps to record the practice interview so that you can show friends and family. With great feedback, you will be able to ace any interview! Be sure to also look at your posture in the video. Are you sitting up straight or slouching? It’s important to show prospective employers you are alert and interested in the conversation.
- Have you thought about the pay you are expecting for this summer job? Be aware of the going rate for summer jobs in your area. During the interview, the prospective employer may ask you how much you are needing to be paid per hour. Teens should go into a summer job interview knowing what their minimum hourly pay will be.
- Many employers ask teens, during the summer job interview, to tell them about themselves. Be prepared before the interview. It is a very open ended question so prepare a good answer.
- Never, under any circumstances, should a teenager answer her cell phone or look at/send text messages during a summer job interview.
- One of the most important tips is to know the location of the interview. Sometimes it’s best to drive to the location before the interview. This will guarantee that you will arrive at the summer job interview on time.
Get the summer job by standing out in your interview.
Summers jobs are highly sought after and you’ll have much competition from other teens so do your best to stand out to your prospective employer. These tips will make you stand out over your teenage competition.
- Whether you’re male or female, always start a summer job interview with a firm handshake.
- Bring your “A” game by showing how you’re the right teen for the job by providing examples of your successes at school and extracurricular activities.
- Flexibility is needed in summer jobs. Be ready to work weekends and as needed.
- Does the summer job require duties you’re not familiar with? Don’t worry; get creative by likening the duties to school activities showing leadership and dedication. All jobs, not just summer jobs, require some degree of teamwork, organization and problem solving. Show your employer how you are the teen with these skills.
- Tattoos and body/face piercing may be cool but until you know your employer’s policy it’s best to cover up. Summer jobs differ in whether visible tattoos are acceptable so be ready for a no piercing/tattoo policy.
- Be happy, don’t be afraid to smile. Show you’ll be a great face for the company at this summer job.
- It may only be a summer job but an employer wants to see that a teen has the image they need. You’ll be evaluated from the moment you arrive, even when sitting waiting for the interview. Don’t slouch and always greet people formally (no “hey”, “what’s up”, etc). Using “sir” and “ma’am” are a must.
- Your summer job may allow you to wear shorts and tee shirts but impress your employer by dressing for success in your interview.
Many teens don’t prepare for a summer job interview. This is a sure fire way to lose the job to other teens. Be prepared. Ask questions such as:
- Teenage Boys: Don’t wear jeans. Choose khaki pants with a pressed shirt. Ask your mom for suggestions if needed. Rarely is a shirt and tie required for a summer job interview but if you’ll be working in an office go the extra mile to impress this employer. Clean, non-athletic shoes are a must too. Remember summer jobs are competitive. Make yourself stand out among the sea of teen job seekers.
- Teen girls: No jeans. Always dress better than your teenage competition but dress appropriately. No short or tight dresses and no flip flops. Look like a respectful, responsible teen - little jewelry and no exposed shoulders, cleavage or stomach. Now is not the time to look fashionable unless, of course, you are seeking a summer job in the fashion industry.
Know your employer! Summer jobs are real and your employer is running a business so know what they do and how you can help. You’ll likely be asked the question, “Why do you want to work here?” By researching the company you’ll be able to respond with things you like about the company and how you can help. As a teen looking for a summer job you aren’t expected to know everything about a company but here are some examples of what you should know before you interview.
- Why do you like working here? (This can help you decide whether this is the right summer job for you.)
- Is training offered? Many summer job employers know that you’ll need training so find out what you’ll need to learn.
- How can I best succeed at this job? An interviewer will be impressed. You may just be a teen looking for summer jobs but the employer will see you’re taking it seriously.
- What parts of this job will be the most difficult to master? Summer jobs offer limited time to learn everything so focus on what is to be expected of you.
- Does the employer have a motto, if so know it.
- What product or service do they offer that helps them stand out.
- Who are their competitors; this is particularly helpful since they competitors may be looking for teenagers to fill summer jobs too.
Handling the interview – impress your summer job employer.
Your biggest obstacle from getting your dream summer job is not knowing your employer's business. Rather, the plethora of teens looking for summer jobs are what stands in your way. Impress your employer by showing them you stand out over all of the other teenage candidates.
- It’s hard to do, especially for teens, but make eye contact with everyone you interact with during your interview. This is important whether you’re interviewing for a summer job or later in life. Be friendly to everyone. Expect everyone you meet to have a say in whether you’re the right teenage for one of this employer’s summer job openings.
- Never request a restroom break. Take care of this before you arrive. The interview may last 20 minutes of 2 hours. Teens tend to think of an interview like school, able to take a break. This isn’t true. Highly sought after summer jobs will go to the best candidate.
- Offer your hand to the person who is conducting the interview. A hand shake goes a long way.
- When you’re offered a seat, take it and sit upright while not appearing too stiff. The summer jobs you’re interviewing for may be informal but the interview is not. Take it seriously to give yourself an advantage over the other teen summer job seekers.
- Skip the casual greetings. Be formal (“Hello”, “It is nice to meet you”, etc).
- Get there early. A successful summer job interview starts here. Being on time results in almost always being late. Show this employer that the interview is important to you.
- Keep eye contact and always appear interested in what the speaker is saying. Too many teenagers allow their attention to wander. Show this employer you’re different.
- Be respectful of personal space. Don’t sit too close to the person you’re meeting with. Show you really care about this summer job.
- Avoid the teenager speech traps – “like, “um”, “you know” – employers will really take notice.
- Employers take summer jobs seriously and may have teen candidates go through more than one interview. Treat each interview like it’s your first.
- Always speak with confidence. Summer jobs may be short term but they are still real jobs.
- It’s ok to accept water or a soft drink if offered but remember to say “thank you”.
- Don’t sit like a statute. It’s ok to use your hands to gesture but don’t get carried away.
- This summer job is important so show the employer you know it. No friends or parents at the interview.
- Don’t daydream. Know your conversation and prepare to respond when the interviewer finishes. Teens tend to let the adult carry the conversation. Now is the time to be assertive and show that you really want one of these highly sought after summer jobs.
- Don’t yell or speak too quietly. Show the interviewer you are professional even if the summer job will have you in a noisy environment.
- Be inquisitive. Show your interest by asking questions about the summer job and how you can best help your prospective employer.
- Be on your best behavior, even when you think no one is watching you. Don’t try to sneak a phone call or a text. If you’re caught the employer will know that you can’t be relied upon.
- Never arrive to an interview chewing gum or drinking a beverage. This shows disrespect and is a quick way to lose a great summer job to another teen.
- Don’t rush. The interview is over when the interviewer decides. Trying to end it early shows you won’t take this summer job seriously and the employer should look for another teenage candidate.
- Flirting is strictly prohibited when interviewing for summer jobs. It’s a sure fire way to be ruled out.
- Be professional even it casual situations. Teens need to take summer job interviews very seriously.
- Leave a cell phone at home or turn it off, not to vibrate. A phone ringing during an interview is disrespectful and shows the employer that the summer jobs he has available should go to more mature teens.
- Be clear when you are able to start a summer job. If you need time before you can begin let this employer know.
After the summer job interview – the next step.
Your evaluation doesn’t end when the interview does. Do a little extra and you’ll set yourself apart from other teens seeking the same summer jobs.
- If there is a reason the job isn’t for you such as specific activities let the employer know. There may be ways around this problem or this employer may have access to other summer jobs better suited for you.
- Take a moment to thank everyone for their time and allowing you to visit with them.
- If no decision is made at the time ask the employer if it would be acceptable for you to follow up with them in a day or two to answer any other questions they may have.
- Prepare a thank you email to show your interest in this summer job. This will set you apart from the other teen job seekers. The thank you note should include:
If this is the summer job you’d love to have be certain the employer knows it. Many teens seem disinterested and that will make an employer to look to the plethora of other teenagers vying for his summer jobs.
Follow up with the interviewer at a later date. Show your interest in his summer job openings.
Critique your interview. Makes notes about how to improve. If you don’t get this summer job you’ll be better prepared for the next one.
Read below for a sample thank you note.
- Why you are a good candidate for this summer job.
- Mention anyone who you met during the interview and that it was a pleasure meeting them.
- Thank the interviewer for taking the time to speak with you about his available summer jobs.
June 3, 2016
Ms. Mary Waters
Pool Supplies Plus
65787 Walnut Lane
Springfield, IL 78667
Dear Ms. Waters,
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for taking the time to speak with me about your open summer job positions. I was excited to hear more about Pool Supplies and would look forward to becoming a member of the team. If there is any additional information I can provide to help you decide whether I would be a good fit for your company please let me know.
Following up the summer job prospect – proper email and telephone behavior.
Check your emails often. Be sure you see any correspondence soon after it is received. Employers know their summer jobs are highly sought after by teens so it’s important that you reply quickly and professionally. If they can’t get in touch with you they’ll assume you’re irresponsible and seek to fill their summer job with another teen. When writing correspondence remember to:
- Always use the subject line. Never leave it blank.
- Be sure your email address sounds professional (using a “slang” email address is a sure fire way to look unprofessional and lose out on great summer jobs).
- Always use full sentence, correctly spelling and grammar. Ask your parent to review it for you.
Don’t let more than a few hours pass before checking your voicemail and make certain your voice message sounds professional. Be prepared to respond to employers questions promptly or you may lose a great summer job.
Social media: Employers offering summer jobs to teens routinely search social media so expect any online posts or profiles to be read. Check your Twitter and Facebook accounts and remove inappropriate posts. Remember summer jobs are highly sought after by not just you but all teenagers so making sure employers see you in the best light possible is crucial.
After you’re hired: Insure you don’t lose your summer job.
Getting the job is the first step. Follow these tips to be assured you don’t lose your summer job.
- Summer jobs can be competitive so do more than your share of work.
- Getting up for a summer job can be tough for a teen but make sure you always arrive early.
- Be polite to your employer, teen coworkers, and customers.
- Many summer jobs entail dealing with the public so be friendly and keep a positive outlook.
- Don’t act like other teenagers – always strive to act mature.
- Your employer hired you for a coveted summer job so show them you’re motivated to work.
- Responsibility and dependability are required; your employer saw it in you when you were offered the summer job.
- Be ready to learn. Too many teens treat summer jobs as fun time. It’s not. Be ready and eager to learn.
- Some summer jobs involve knowledge of specific rules and regulations. Be sure you know them.
- The customers come first. Don’t focus on conversations with teen coworkers when customers are present.
Summer jobs for teens can be hard to find. Check into alternatives to fill your summer.
Teens all over the country are applying for a limited number of open summer jobs. Employers can’t hire all teenagers so don’t get down if you don’t land a paying summer job. Money is only one benefit of a summer job. Experience can be more important than money for a teenager looking for future work or for college applications.
- Get ahead in school by using time while other teens are working summer jobs to take a class to prepare for the coming year.
- Volunteering can not only provide great experience but it’s a great thing to show colleges and prospective employers.
- Although not a paid summer job, some employers offer teens unpaid internships which can provide invaluable experience.
- Start you own small business by offering your labor to neighbors. Many neighborhood families will welcome an enthusiastic teen ready to work, even if it’s not a typical summer job.
Using the internet to locate summer jobs in your area.
Summer jobs are often listed online by prospective employers. Be sure to take advantage of these listings. Most search engines make it easy to find summer jobs in your area. It’s best to limit your search to teen summer jobs or the search results can be overwhelming. Go to one of the vast number of job related websites available to teens and search summer jobs by zip code.
The great thing about this type of search is that you can also focus in on the type of summer jobs that appeal to you. If your preference is for indoor work look for teen office related summer job positions. Or, if you prefer the outdoors, you’ll find a plethora of employers with open summer job positions for teenagers.
Don’t limit your search to just summer job listing websites, though. Check out posting on your local library’s website, school website, or community college boards. And let friends and family know you’re looking for a summer job suitable for a teen.
The A+ List of Teen Summer Job Search Websites
This is the list you want to view when looking for that summer job! Bookmark this page since the list is updated frequently.
CampPage.com has a very comprehensive listing of summer jobs for teenagers. Simply choose your state and it will output a list of jobs in your area. Some of the jobs are on cruiseships so be aware of the fact that they seem to be outputted on every state search page (so they aren’t necessarily in your state.
JobMonkey is a great website teens can use to find summer jobs. The site has a lot of summer jobs available (be sure to search “seasonal job.” We were very impressed!
CampStaff does have some summer job options for teens. But teenagers will have to do some work to find summer work. The search feature doesn’t seem to work very well so teens will have to scroll through jobs all over the United States.
Backdoorjobs.com has a limited selection of summer jobs available for teens. It is very easy to search for summer jobs in your state so we do recommend teens take a quick look.
Craigslist can be a good way to find an awesome summer job. The great thing about Craigslist is that you can search jobs right in your area. Just use keywords that correspond to the type of summer job you are looking for. For instance, a teen looking for a camp counselor type or job would use the keywords “camp” and “counselor.”
We like Cool Works but they really need to work on their search functionality. Teens will really have to spend a good time trying to find a summer job in their area. Still, Cool Works is a great place to search for summer jobs.
Summercampstaff.com provides a lot of resources for teens looking for a fun summer job. Teens can search by state and there are many summer jobs listed.
The F List of Teen Summer Job Search Websites
Here is a list of non-teen friendly summer job search websites. They aren't all bad but they just aren't very good for teens to use when looking for summer work.
We decided to add an F list of summer jobs for two reasons. First, these sites appear in the first pages of Google search so teens are likely to click on these pages when they search for summer jobs. Second, their site names might tend to give teens the illusion that they are good places to find summer jobs.
ResortJobs.com is not the best teen summer job search website. It’s better suited for older people and has a limited selection of summer jobs (in our view). In our opinion, this site isn’t worth most teen’s time.
On the surface, CampJobs.com would seemingly be a great place for a teenager to find a summer job. Our investigation reveals that it has a very limited selection of summer jobs for teens. Teens would be better served looking elsewhere.
We cannot, in good conscience recommend teens use mysummers.com for teen summer job search. The only way to view a listing of summer jobs is to sign up with the website (we attempted to sign up but received errors).
We are not fans of Teens4Hire. We cannot endorse any site that solicits money from teens for finding summer jobs. We understand there is a basic “free” version but we are not fans of teen job sites that solicit money from teens to find summer jobs.
SummerJobs.com is really just a basic job search website. A search of the site shows basic jobs (not summer specific jobs).
GrooveJob is another basic job search. It’s not a bad search per se but is not a teen summer job search website.
Teens are not able to search specifically for summer jobs on Barefoot Student. The site does have basic employment postings but we have found that the job search feature pulls up jobs over a great distance despite our attempts to limit the search.
We had great hope for LifeGuardingJobs (based upon the name). What we found was a site powered by Indeed.com (a job search site for older adults).
SeasonalEmployment sounds like it would be a great place for teens to find out about summer jobs. Unfortunately it is not. For the most part it’s just a listing of basic older adult jobs in a particular area.