Do you want to work this summer? Don’t most teens? The first step to finding a great summer job is to identify your skills. If you don’t think that you have any job skills or any work experience, THINK AGAIN!
You may not have specific paid work experience, but you do have work experience. You have “worked” as a student, a volunteer, a teammate, in a hobby or some other personal activity. What you learned playing basketball, giving that speech in history class, or while scrapbooking with your mom counts. You may not realize it, but you’ve got skills!
Make a List
List your hobbies, clubs you belong to, sports you’re involved in, church and school activities, and volunteer experiences.
List things you are good at or have learned how to do. Can you change the oil in your car? Do you know how to fix a computer? Do you know how to mow lawns? Can you type?
Now, think about the special skills that it takes to do these activities. All hobbies, activities, etc. take a lot of skills, knowledge and abilities.
For example, “Playing Basketball” might have a list of skills like the ones below:
• Ability to interact with others and be a team player.
• Ability to use basic arithmetic.
• Ability to arrive prepared and on time to scheduled activities (games/practices).
• Ability to reach, lift, jump, stoop and run.
• Skills in directing others and taking directions from others.
Be in the Know
Employers know that they can teach certain skills, like how to use equipment to new employees. However, some skills are harder to teach than others. So, what are employers looking for?
In 2008, the top five job skills that employers in Oregon were seeking were the ability to maintain files and forms, to perform basic math, to be a team member, to provide quality customer service, and to follow safety procedures.
Create a Resume
Now it’s time to start building your resume and begin marketing yourself! Choose a resume template and begin entering your information. MSWord has several great options or you can search the internet for other templates.
Be sure to keep the skills section near the top to ensure that the potential employer sees how valuable you may be to their company! Take another look at the activities that you’ve done and the skills that you’ve learned. Do you have some of the top five skills that employers want? Put these at the top of your skills list.
If you don’t have previous work experience, headings to consider are objective, skills, volunteer experience, and education. Remember, the goal is to highlight your strengths.
The best way to land a job is to know people. Identify ten adults that you know and let them know that you are looking for work. Ask them if they know anyone who is hiring. If they don’t, ask them to let you know if they hear of any openings. Once you have laid the initial groundwork, be sure to follow up with them again in one to two weeks to let them know that you are still looking for work.