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Why Summer Jobs Are Important

With summer right around the corner, many teenagers will start looking for a summer job. Lining up a summer job provides valuable work experience and helps build a resume. A complete resume is crucial for finding full-time employment down the road.

If you don’t find a summer job immediately, the key is not to give up. A summer job can be important now and also for your future. Be determined and keep looking.


Value of a Summer Job

There are many pluses teenagers can gain from a summer job. Here are some key reasons to look for a summer job from kidshealth.org:

  1. Develop interview skills. The more jobs you apply for, the better you'll get at interviewing. Learning how to come across well in an interview is a skill you'll use forever. It helps with everything from getting into college to landing a full-time job.
  2. Learn something about yourself. You might discover a new skill or interest you never knew you had.
  3. Push the limits of your comfort zone. Job hunting can push you out of a comfort zone into a whole new experience.
  4. Get better at coping with rejection. You may not get hired on your first job interview. The more we face rejection and deal with it, the easier it is to get past the hurt and bounce back.


Tips for Finding a Summer Job

Follow these suggestions to help line up a summer job:

  • Start looking now. Many jobs will be filled by May.
  • Stop by businesses. Don’t just look for jobs on the internet. While some businesses post jobs online, others prefer to post job openings on their door.
  • Put your best foot forward. A clean, neat appearance is a must when you meet an employer or have an interview. Don’t show up in shorts and a T-shirt.
  • Use good manners and language skills. Make sure you say “please,” “thank you” and “excuse me.” This will tell employers that a teen is mature and can communicate well.
  • Emphasize your strengths. When you meet with employers, be prepared to have some suggestions of how you could be an asset.
  • Don’t get discouraged. If you don’t get the summer job you wanted, don’t give up. Keep looking for another job. Rejection is part of the life experience. Don’t let it stop you from achieving your goal.


Tips for Writing a Resume

A summer job helps you build a resume, which is important for future employment opportunities. A resume is a list of work experiences and education. This may include paid/unpaid positions, internships and volunteer work. You may also list unique skills or qualifications.

A resume lists your education and work experience starting with the most recent. It often contains an objective at the top; this is where you describe the type of job you want. You can also list any extracurricular activities, volunteer or community service, and special skills or training.

Here are some tips for writing your resume:

  • Make sure to have your contact information at the top. Your name, address, phone number and email address are musts.
  • Know your audience. Use language that is relevant to the company you are applying to work for.
  • Use action words. Using words such as “managed,” “led,” “trained,” “won” and “built” help show companies that you take the initiative and get results.
  • Highlight accomplishments in your previous experience instead of just listing a description of duties.
  • Check for spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Have someone read it when you’re done. Even though you’ve already checked for spelling and grammar, have someone who’s experienced at reading resumes review yours.


Additional Resources

Learn more about the job-seeking process.

Learn about child labor laws, which help guide employers looking to hire teenagers for summer jobs.

Through the American Job Center - Tennessee, employment and educational services are available to job seekers and employers.

Go to Jobs4TN.gov to find a job, post a resume and set up a virtual recruiter.