The Richmond Register

February 5, 2014

Most teen job applications start online

By Jennifer Napier
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — “I want to get a job,” a teenager states to a parent. The parent asks the teen, “What are you planning on doing with the money you earn?” The teenager replies, “I want to buy a car.”

If you wish to guide your teenager in applying for their first job, you need to understand current trends in a competitive workforce. A growing number of employers have implemented technology to list jobs, collect applications, screen candidates and integrate new hires into their companies.

To guide your teenager in their job search, ask them to create a list of the various locations, stores, businesses, entertainment facilities, etc., they like most.

Next, discuss with them what skills they possess that could be a benefit to the names on their list.

For example, if a teenager has a very outgoing personality and enjoys talking to people, they might best be suited in a frontline customer service position.

On the other hand, if the teenager does not have an outgoing personality but enjoys performing manual labor, they may be a better fit for a behind-the-scenes job such as cleaning, organizing or restocking shelves.

When the teenager has determined which job they would like to apply for, it’s time to encourage them to take action and start an application.

Many of the most popular chain restaurants and retail businesses that teenagers typically apply to, have added information to their websites about available positions and how to apply for those jobs online.

Most websites will have an “Employment,” “Job Openings” or a “Careers” link to locate available positions and begin the application.

Before beginning the online application, it is important to note that a computer with a reliable internet connection and an undisturbed block of time will be required to successfully complete an application.

The application will ask several standard questions, such as demographic data, education and work experience.

A second step usually will contain additional questions that enable the employer to evaluate the applicant’s work ethic and values. This section may include numerous questions, asked in multiple ways, to see if the applicant responds to the question the same way every time.

Before submitting the application, a request for references may appear. The teenager should select references who can provide the employer with information about the quality of their work, knows that the teenager will show up on time, has a history for reliability, honesty and is able to get along with others.

After hitting the send button, it is important for the teenager to follow-up with a phone call or an in-person visit to let the business know they are eager to work there and want to schedule an interview.

All in-person visits to the business must leave an excellent impression of the teenager, so appearance and appropriate dress are essential to getting to the interview.

See next week’s article for tips on preparing a teenager for their first interview.

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