Well, I’m well past teenage years now, but from my experiences, I do know some tips for teenagers wanting to work during the summer months should take up on. And for most of them, it’s likely going to be fast-food. Currently being an assistant manager at such a place myself, I want to give some pointers that would be very helpful for them to get work.
1. This is the time of year to be looking. Yes, it’s only February, when your local fast-food joint is not as busy. However, managers are going to be staffing up for the summer very soon. Springtime is when most of the training will take place, and thusly, weeding out bad workers. Stop in everywhere you can and apply. Even if the place isn’t hiring, it’s always good to apply anyways. Most places keep applications on file for 90 days, during which at least one person does get hired.
2. Be realistic on availability and pay. Managers prefer employees that have more availability than others. Yes, there are times such as school that it wouldn’t be logical to schedule you to work, and they usually schedule older employees with kids at home to work dayshift during the week. However, one thing that gets on their nerves are employees that want a lot of hours, then call off a lot or say “I can’t work this shift.” Then those employees get their hours cut and complain that they need money. Also, although this isn’t as much of an issue with younger workers as it is with older workers, be reasonable on starting pay. Managers are willing to work with you more if you’re flexible.
3. Dress for the job. You might not want to hear this, but you need to look the part. This is more for girls than boys, but most jobs have restrictions on jewelry and painted fingernails. This is more for food safety reasons than anything else, but it’s also for appearance standards as well. Like high school, boys are less restricted on dress codes at work, but there is one thing they need to keep in mind: invest in a razor. Most fast-food places require male employees to be clean shaven. Also, if you’re a male and have longer hair, it’s time to see a barber. Though not many places require male employees to cut their hair, you’re more likely to get hired after an interview if you have short hair. And one thing that applies to both genders: tattoos. Don’t get any tattoo’s on your arms, neck, or face.
4. It helps if you know someone. One thing you will realize in society is that it helps if you know someone. If you have a friend that is already working somewhere, have them tell their manager about you. Some places actually give recruiting bonuses if you have friends that are looking for jobs. (Such bonuses are only like $50, but to a teenager that is a lot of money.) It’s also a lot easier to get a job through someone you already know.
5. It may be for longer than the summer. Except for the occasional mom-and-pop ice cream stand, when you go back to school for the fall the business is still running. They will still need workers for evenings and weekends. And to be honest, if you’re willing to work there longer than the summer, chances are you’re more likely to get hired.
6. It doesn’t apply to just fast-food. Most jobs in society are going to have similar guidelines. Even if you don’t decide to make foodservice a career, most places follow similar procedures. So you might want to keep all of this in mind.