6 Things Teens Should Do to Land a Summer Job

A man stands back-to-back with a woman while both text on their cell phones

As summer approaches, the number of teenagers looking for work increases dramatically. According to a 2015 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics study, the number of 16-to-19-year-olds employed or searching for work last year skyrocketed between April and July, increasing by almost 1.5 million workers for a total of more than 6.9 million in July1. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as Texas’ youth go on the hunt for summer work:

  • Stay ahead of the game
    • Getting a head start on the job application process not only means a higher chance of landing a job or an internship, it also means you’ll have more options to pick from when deciding which position fits you best.
  • Find the right job for you
    • Look for opportunities that will give you valuable experience for your future occupation. If you haven’t chosen your career path, TWC has resources like com which allows students to explore career options based on their interests, desired lifestyle and job availability in various areas and TexasCaresOnline.com which addresses education and career exploration questions.
  • Know the right places to look
    • The internet is a great place to start! Not only can it help you find jobs in your area, but it also has great tools to help create résumés and prepare for interviews. Teens interested in job-search assistance and career resources can contact their local Workforce Solutions office and visit com. Older teens also may visit TexasInternships.jobs for a free online resource.
  • Create a résumé and practice interviewing
    • Hiring representatives depend on a solid résumé and cover letter when evaluating candidates for open positions. It’s important to make sure yours is as perfect as it can be. You should ask for help from a teacher, counselor or family member. Include information about past jobs or internships, volunteer work and extracurricular activities. Practice interviewing with friends and family members to ease some of the nerves that are bound to come and help prepare good answers to interview questions. Texas Workforce Solutions offices in your area may offer workshops that will help you gain those résumé writing and interviewing skills.
  • Ask the right questions
    • Research the industry and company you’re seeking a position with and show hiring managers that you’ve done your homework and that you are eager to learn about their field. This can help your chances at landing the job.
  • Understand child labor laws
    • Know which jobs and work schedules are legal for your age group. Employers must comply with wage and hour laws and regulations enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor. In Texas, certain child labor laws apply to different age groups and different job types. The Texas Child Labor Law ensures that teens and pre-teens are not employed in an occupation or manner that is harmful to their safety, health or well-being. It is illegal to employ anyone under age 14 except under specific circumstances. Anyone who is age 16 or 17 may not be employed in the logging, wrecking, demolition and ship-breaking operations. Read a full list of prohibited occupations on the Texas Child Labor Law website.

Here are some examples of local resources available for teens hosted by regional Workforce Solutions offices that can help you find a job including:

  • Workforce Solutions of Central Texas - The Creating Futures Summer Hiring Program is designed to provide on-the-job training and to introduce 150 teens to the demands and rewards associated with holding a job. Creating Futures will allow students to work no more than 40 hours-per-week earning $8 an hour.
  • Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas - Young Adult Services offers teens opportunities that motivate and prepare them for continuing educational achievements, successful transition into adulthood and long-term success in employment. Eight workforce centers through Dallas County offer self-help to accomplish job search assistance, job matching and career exploration.
  • Workforce Solutions Gulf Coast - Workforce Solutions Gulf Coast offers teens a wealth of opportunities to get their future started on the right foot. Workshops that prepare them to enter the world of work. Teens can attend free seminars in its career offices to learn how to look for a job, write or revise a résumé, interview and network, or use their job skills and work experience in a new and different way.