As an employer, I interview a lot of folks… and a lot of teens. I hate to say it, but teens usually have no clue how to interview and get a job! They blow it!
This article will address the three mistakes most teens make so that you or your kid can learn how to get your favorite job.
I would say about 8 out of 10 kids drop off a resume with misspellings. This is the FASTEST way for the resume to be thrown in the trash!
In addition, most resumes look like someone just spit a bunch of information into a template and hit print. The information is rarely organized and often unformatted. The result is a messy-looking resume with misspellings that gets thrown in the trash before there’s even a chance to interview.
Here are a few keys for a good resume:
- Triple check spelling!
- Don’t add an objective. Rather, write a couple of sentences explaining why you’re different and HOW you would help the company.
- List the jobs you’ve had… and how you impacted the company rather than just the job. I don’t care that you were a pizza delivery person. What did you do different that helped the company?
- List your education at the bottom because it’s not as important.
- Contain your resume to ONE piece of paper – front side ONLY. Most people don’t want to read a lot, and multiple pages just makes things difficult.
Ok, let’s say you submitted a great resume… that’s the least of your worries now. Many companies won’t call you back.
I don’t call anyone back. Why? Because I want to see if they’ll take the initiative and call me. I want to know if they’re a go-getter and willing to be persistent.
Most people never call back!
The call-back is very simple. All you have to do is ask if they received your resume. When they say yes, simply say “Great! Well I’d love to set up a time to interview.”
Maybe they’re actively looking for employees so they will set up an interview. Maybe they want resumes because they want to have some people ready to call IN CASE they need someone. In that case they might tell you they’re not hiring.
Ask to interview anyway. Tell them you understand, but you want to meet them so they know who you are in case they need someone.
If someone called me and said that… I might even hire them and replace one of my employees that wasn’t doing a good job. That kind of call shows initiative and demonstrates that you would be a great worker.
3.Dress & Presentation
So now you have the interview… big deal. Most kids blow their chances because they dress terrible — They wear a tank-top, shorts, and flip flops to the interview.
Even though that might be standard clothing for most teens, it creates a bad first impression. As an employer, we think, “Oh no, this kid is unprofessional. They’re probably not a good fit.”
You just made a great phone impression, so you need to reinforce that with a good visual impression. Make sure you wear a collared shirt, either slacks or khakis, and some nice shoes (see picture below).
This will set you apart from the other kids applying, and it will leave a great impression with the employer… HELLO JOB!
In addition to dressing well… always remember to sit tall and speak well. Make eye contact and answer questions confidently.
When you slouch, chomp gum, or look around, it makes you look dumb and unqualified.
There you have it! If you can make these simple changes, you will make yourself much more valuable to the employer and be more likely to get the job you want!