Category Archives: Job Search

So Would You Hire You Looking Like That?

Category : Job Search

This is a guest post from our friend Gloria Bell of Red Stapler Consulting.

All too often we fail to stop and think about appearance. So much emphasis has been put on “what’s inside” of a person, we don’t remember that a job interview is a lot like a first date. There has to be a certain “attraction”. You have to give that potential employer a reason to keep talking to you. And more importantly a reason to want to keep you around.

Being realistic, you don’t have a long and accomplished job history or that fancy piece of parchment from “Wherever” University to sway them in your favor. What you do have is your appearance and your earnestness. So what does this mean? Do you show up to apply for a job at a fast food restaurant or a hardware store in a suit? No. What it means is that you show up to fill out that application or for that interview dressed appropriately, or maybe a little better dressed than their employees generally appear. Not in your “I’m with Stupid” or some other cute, or goodness forbid, obscene saying shirt. Keep in mind the environment you will be working in – an office, a fast food restaurant, an upscale retail store, whatever it may, there is a standard “dress”, at minimum, match that. It also means some good personal grooming – showered, hair combed, clothes clean & neat.

What you want is an appearance that is going to leave an impression. Something that
makes you stand out from the hundreds of other people your age who are applying for the same jobs. Standing out is also more than your clothing, it is your manners, your speech, your “pulled together” overall appearance. It means pulling out those manners that Mom and Dad hammered into you at the kitchen table – Yes Ma’am, No Sir, etc… It means listening to questions, not interrupting and giving thoughtful, accurate answers. It means remembering that the person you are interviewing with, whatever their age may be, is not one of your “buds” that you talk shorthand or slang with.

So next time you are heading out to fill out applications or hopefully go to that interview, stop, look at yourself in the mirror or, even better ask an adult to take a look at you. Would you (or the adult you ask) hire you looking like that?

Job Advice From Randon Johnson

Category : Job Search , Other Stuff

We met Randon on Twitter (are you following us yet?) and were immediately struck by his optimism, enthusiasm, and entrepreneurship. He is still in college but has started his own educational employment site for college students Job-U. We decided to ask him about his first job and he was kind enough to share some tips with us.

MFP:  What was your first job as a teenager?
I worked at footlocker, and I was 15 years old, that job lasted my entire high school life.  My true first job was at 13 years old, my grandpa made me answer phones and file papers for his accounting firm.

MFP:   How did you find that first job?

My brother worked for a footlocker in a mall and if one footlocker ran out a product, we’ll travel to another location, so we pretty much knew all the managers.  I applied for the job and the rest is history.

MFP: What are some important things to remember when looking for/selecting a job?
Students should always keep their options open, don’t zero in on just one job, for example when I applied to footlocker, even knowing that this location was hiring and I knew the manager, I applied to about 6 other locations as well as a year-round camp for elementary school students.  But prior to applying, self evaluate, ask your parents/teachers to interview you.

MFP: What are some important things to know for the interview, etc.:
Know your strengths, be polite, look the interviewer in the eye when shaking his/her hand, and ask them about themselves and what to expect from them (if its the manager).  It separates you from the bunch and immediately makes an impact.  However, remain professional and always make the interviewer aware that you’re responsible and trustworthy.

MFP: How has that job helped you as you grow older?
The footlocker job has helped me by exposing me to different types of people.  Once I started selling, I had to learn how to talk to different types of people in a persuasive way.  You’ll find that in life, you’re always selling yourself, whether you know it or not.

MFP: What piece of advice would you offer somebody looking for a job?

I would tell them to remain optimistic and persistant, especially during the recession.  A lot of people I know are bummed out and don’t want to settle for a job paying less than what they’re looking for, if you work hard, theres always a raise waiting for you around the corner.  And a job gives you one thing that’s very invaluable, and that’s experience.
Randon J. Johnson is the Founding Editor of and a student at Xavier University in New Orleans.

Time To Get Some Help

Category : Job Search

Our friend Jennie Withers, Author of ‘Hey Get a Job!‘ – an e-book of job tips for teens (available at sent us the following great guest post about how guidance counselors and teachers can help teenagers find jobs. What do you think? What other adults can you ask for help?

Counselors and teachers are working at your school because they want to help students. They even understand the importance of teens having a job and earning money. Counselors and teachers can prove to be valuable resources for teens in the job process.

* Your references on an application or attached to a resume have to be adults who are not related to you, and they have to be people who can discuss your work ethic. Since teens have little to no work experience, teachers, coaches, club advisors and counselors may be the only people in a position to talk about your work ethic. Keep in mind before you can use your teachers as a reference, you must ask them.

* School counselors are very well versed in the art of obtaining jobs, as are some teachers. Find those teachers who have job or career material in their curriculum. Some good places to start are classes related to Technical Writing, Careers, Life Skills, Teen Living, Home Economics or Vocational Technical programs. Language Arts teachers also make great proofreaders for applications and resumes.

* Counselors are very well connected to the business world. It’s part of their job to know what employers expect and the Youth Labor Laws employers must follow. Talk with them about openings in your area. On occasion, counselors will receive calls from businesses who are looking to hire teens. If your counselor doesn’t know about specific openings, they may have advice about where to look for available employment opportunities for teens.

In our current economy, it’s important to use all the resources available to you. Your teachers and counselors can help you reach your goal of becoming employed.

Five Tips to Help Students Find Summer Jobs in a Recession

Category : Job Search

In this weak economy and tight job market, students have to start their summer job search earlier than ever. To help our peers, we’ve put together five tips to help make the job search a little easier.

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Facilities Cut Costs Summer Jobs

Category : Job Search

Here in Philadelphia (like every where else) we’re faced with a tough economy and the city is forced to make some tough budget cuts.  One of the proposals is to close the swimming pools this summer.  I’m not going to argue that one facility is more important to the other, but Kia Gregory makes the often over looked point in today’s Inquirer that not only do pools give kids something to do and somewhere to go over the summer, but they keep plenty of kids employed.

Lifeguarding is a great summer job and has many listings, but when cities close pools they are putting jobs and teens  in jeopardy.

Since the city cannot afford to keep everything open on it’s own how Philly kids stay cool this summer depends on us. Check out this great fundraising drive, and please donate if you can.

Even Worse for Young Workers

Category : Job Search

Bob Herbert, one of the best Op-Ed Columnists out there wrote another great piece for The Times today that I wanted to make sure you saw. Herbert writes, “The employment situation in the U.S. is, if anything, worse than most people realize. And huge numbers of young people, ages 16 to 30, are being beaten down in ways that could leave scars for a lifetime.” He continues, “The ones who are being hit the hardest and will have the most difficult time recovering are America’s young workers. Nearly 2.2 million young people, ages 16 through 29, have already lost their jobs in this recession. This follows an already steep decline in employment opportunities for young workers over the past several years. Good jobs were hard to find for most categories of workers during that period. One of the results has been that older men and women have been taking and holding onto jobs that in prior eras would have gone to young people.”
The effect of the recession on young people is something that we’ve been talking about for a long time at, but there is only so much we can do. We need great minds with big platforms to continue to bring up the importance of youth employment, and we need big solutions. can help teens find jobs through our resume builders and advice, but we can’t create jobs. There are a lot of big problems out there, but unemployment about young adults cannot be over looked. Bob Herbert, thank you for continuing to advocate for us.

Students Learn Job Skills At School

Category : Job Search

I wanted to pass on this story of a teacher at an Albuquerque middle school who is teaching her kids the skills they need to find summer jobs.

Joan Krieger is an example of what teachers everywhere should be, and are, doing. Let me know if you are a teacher trying to figure out how to teach job skills, but struggling to figure out how, we can help.

Can’t Find a Job This Summer? Buy a Plane Ticket

Category : Job Search

If you haven’t noticed, the economy sucks and the job market is as dry as Arizona in the summertime. Normal jobs that teenagers used to be able to work in the summer are now filled by laid off adults and college graduates.  I myself am a recent college graduate and have friends who can’t even find work at McDonalds.  So if you haven’t noticed this by now you deserve a slap in the face. Wake up! Times are tough, but we all still need money. So what do you do? The answer to the above question really depends on who and where you are.  Some job markets have more opportunity then others.  For instance, if you are in Cape Cod, MA there is an influx of job opportunities there in the summertime due to the seasonal nature of business and tourism there.  But if you are in the suburbs of Philadelphia, you may not have the same opportunity. is a great resource for you to turn to in order to find out which areas still have jobs you can fill.

Years ago before I started my own company I took finding a good and lucrative job into my own hands and actually moved to Cape Cod, MA for my summer break.  I knew that during the summer there are countless opportunities there to find part or full-time work with great pay.  And it was in Cape Cod that I was inspired to start my own business, Sand Shack, which I now run full-time, and its products can be found in stores across the country.  Everything fell together when I took it into my own hands to find a job that was right and fun for me.  I lived well that summer, got a girlfriend (no longer with), and made a ton of money (for a teenager).

Ok, well not all of you can up and go to Cape Cod or any other seasonal tourist locale this summer, but I challenge you to think outside the box when looking for work.  Where do you have relatives living where you would like to work this summer? If you are old enough, and still in school, why don’t you and your friends rent a house this summer somewhere where you can all find jobs

There are opportunities out there, you are just going to have to look harder and exert more effort in pursuing the opportunities that are left.

You may even have to purchase a plane ticket.

Guest Post From Brian Linton is the founder and president of Sand Shack LLC. He has his own online video show and regularly writes about his entrepreneurial adventures and insights at

Are More Teens Volunteering?

Category : Internships , Job Search has an article about a survey from Harris Interactive that found that more teens volunteer than work part time.

“The random national telephone survey released this week by the Federal Way-based charity World Vision found that more teens volunteer to support a charitable cause – 56 percent – than have a part-time job – 39 percent.”

but adds,

“The Harris Interactive survey found a quarter of teens have become more involved in charitable causes or organizations as a result of the economic downturn, but the economy has also led to cuts in allowances, and has teens working more hours at a paying job.”

So are kids working more or less? It’s hard to tell, and while I hope that teens are getting more involved in their communities, the current state of the economy is forcing more kids into the workplace. Hopefully can help them.

Summer Jobs at The Shore

Category : Job Search

Is Shore Economy Bucking the Tide? The Inquirer certainly seems to think so – what do you think? Do teens have a chance of finding summer jobs at the shore or at other summer destinations?

Grim Outlook For Teen Jobseekers

Category : Job Search

Sue Shellenbarger wrote a blog post for The Juggle, a WSJ Blog about the Grim Outlook For Teen Jobseekers. She writes, “With the teen job market already reeling, employment among people ages 16 to 19 this summer may fall even lower than the historic nadir of 32.5% posted in summer 2008, says Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, Boston. That was the lowest rate in the 60-year history of government jobs data, marking a steep decline from 45% just eight years earlier.”

And asks for summer job tips for teenagers. I told her to check out, what advice would you have passed on?

Summer Jobs for Teenagers

Category : Job Search

There are countless ways to find summer jobs when you are a teenager. Possibilities include everything from working online to mowing lawns to working retail to starting your career. Read on for some great ideas on how to get started on your search.

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Summer Jobs for Students

Category : Job Search

You should check out my article on ‘Summer Jobs for Students,  Start Your Summer Job Search Early’ if you are getting serious about your summer job search. And if you aren’t getting serious about your summer job search, you probably should start.

Adventureland – The Summer Job Movie?

Category : Job Search

I just saw a preview for ‘Adventureland,’ “A comedy set in the summer of 1987 and centered around a recent college grad who takes a nowhere job at his local amusement park, only to find it’s the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.” It has a great cast including; Jesse Eisenberg and Ryan Reynolds and looks like it’s a pretty good representation of summer jobs.  I’ll let you know how it is when it comes out – but something to look out for in the future.

Student Jobs Scarce as Economy Worsens

Category : Job Search

One of the tough things about losing a job or struggling to find one is that it’s easy to think that you are alone in your struggles – but it’s just not true, especially now.  Everybody is having trouble, this article in The Independent Florida Alligator states that, “The national unemployment rate for workers 20 to 24 years old is 12.1 percent, which exceeds the overall rate of 7.2 percent — the highest in 24 years, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”  Sounds depressing, but I am posting to encourage you. The trick is to keep applying and following-up with employers. Good luck!

Top Ten Tips for Teen Job Seekers

Category : Job Search

Get Organized. Before you start your job search, make sure that everything you need to job search is ready.  You may need working papers – check with your High School Guidance Office for details.  Make a list of all the personal information you will need to complete a job application – home and school addresses, phone numbers, people or companies you have worked for, and references.

Don’t Wait. The recession and down job market has hit all levels of job seekers – from entry level candidates with no experience to top executives.  Start your job search early, because there are fewer jobs available and more competition for every position.

Start Local. One of the easiest ways to find a teen job is to start local.  Check with your school to see if they have job postings. If you’re interested in retail, walk around town or the mall. Look for help wanted signs in store windows or ask if the company is hiring.  If you’re looking for a summer job, check with summer camps, amusement parks, and other seasonal businesses.  Check your Chamber of Commerce web site, many list job openings.

Search Online. Next, go online to look for job postings. is an excellent site for teens, because all the job postings are geared to teen job seekers.  Also, visit the other sites which list jobs just for teens.

Use Your Connections.  Who you know is as important in finding a job, especially your first or second job, as finding jobs to apply for. Tell everyone you know – family, friends, teachers, coaches – that you’re looking for a job. You never know who might be able to help.

Be Prepared.  Create a resume if you don’t have one. It won’t take long and even if you haven’t worked at a “real” job, you can include child care, dog sitting, volunteering, and school activities. has a resume builder that will create a resume for you. Review samples ( if you need help creating a resume.   Offering a prospective employer a resume will help you be a strong candidate for employment.

Bring the Right Stuff. When you apply for jobs, bring a portfolio or folder with your resume, the information you will need to complete an application, a list of a few references, and a pen.  You don’t want to have to ask for a pen when a hiring manger hands you a job application or not have the information you need to apply.

Dress Presentably.  Don’t wear what you think looks good. Seriously.  Ask your parents or another adult how they think you should dress for an interview.  What looks terrific for going to school or out with your friends is not going to impress the interviewer. The key is to dress conservatively with no belly sticking out or bra straps or underwear showing. You’ll probably have to buy an outfit just for applying, but it’s a good investment.

Be Flexible.  It’s important to be available for work when the employer needs you.  Keep your schedule as open as possible for work.  The more you’re available, the more likely you are to be offered a job. And be honest – tell the company the truth about when you’re available to work. If you have other commitments, be upfront about them. The employer may be willing to work around your schedule, but they do need to know.

Don’t Give Up.  Finding a job is hard work, especially when you don’t have much – or any – experience. Don’t give up if you don’t find a job right away.  Keep looking, keep reminding people you’re in the market for a job, and consider a wide variety of work options.  The more jobs you apply for, the better chance you have of being hired.

A Guest Post From Alison Doyle, Job Searching Guide (

You Need a “Brand” to Stand Out From the Competition

Category : Job Search

Whether You’re Going for a First Job at a Fast-Food Restaurant or an Internship at a Lawyer’s Office, You Need a “Brand” to Stand Out From the Competition

Let’s face it, in today’s economic situation there’s going to be even more competition than usual for entry-level or “first” jobs. If there are 20 teens, for example, applying to the same one job, how can you increase your chances of being the one teen hired?

By creating a unique brand that sets you apart from the other job applicants.

What’s a brand? It’s a public persona composed of pieces of information about you that are all on what we writers call “the spine of the story.”

Confused? Let’s take an imaginary teen, Joan, who wants a job for this summer before going to college in the fall. She applies at Pearl Fine Art Supplies, whose tagline is “the world’s largest discount art supplier.” (FYI: That tagline is Pearl’s brand – positioning that sets Pearl apart from other art supply stores.)

Joan has the usual teen resume: she’s babysat for the neighbor’s kids, gotten good grades in high school, and had an unpaid internship at a local veterinarian. What could possibly make her different than the other 19 high school graduates applying for the same summer job?

It just so happens that Joan decided to apply to Pearl because Joan has a love for drawing. She’s been a frequent customer of this particular Pearl store, where she buys drawing paper, color drawing pencils, and frames for her artwork.

Now this is not likely to be information that will appear on the resume she’s handing in at Pearl. So what can she do with this information to create a brand for herself and stand out from the other job applicants?

She can take one of the Pearl drawing sheets and cut it to the same size as her resume. Then she can do a color-pencil sketch of a scene from the inside of Pearl and sign her name and date the drawing before attaching the drawing to her resume.

Next she can attach one additional sheet of paper with some of her observations from being a regular Pearl customer for her art supplies. (The attached drawing demonstrates that she really does drawings.) She might include praise for the times the employees have helped her find what she’s looking for, and a constructive comment that she wishes the drawing pencils were more clearly labeled to help price-comparison shopping.

Joan has now created for herself a brand as an art supplier consumer who has thoughtful insights into Pearl’s products and product displays.

If you were the local Pearl store’s hiring manager for the one summer job opening, who would you hire? One of the 19 teens, all with almost identical resumes, or the one teen who has demonstrated clearly that she knows and cares about art supplies?

Now obviously if Joan had applied for a summer job at a sports store, she couldn’t use this brand, and she might not have anything in her areas of interest that could fit a sports store brand.

So what’s your first step? To figure out what your brand can be (you might have more than one potential brand if you have varied interests).

Your second step? To apply to jobs (or internships) where that brand can help you stand out from the competition.

If you follow these recommendations to create your own brand appropriate for the job to which you are applying, you should have a much better chance of getting that first job or internship this coming summer, regardless of the economic situation.

This is a guest post from Phyllis Zimbler Milller, the president of Miller Mosaic LLC, an online marketing company that helps book authors and small businesses build a brand through utilizing a marketing-focused website. You can access more of her articles at

I’m 15 Years Old, What Kind of Job Can I Get?

Category : Careers , Job Search was created to help young people get jobs. We have job advice for teens, interview tips, a resume builder, etc. but you have to know what jobs younger teens are allowed to do.

As a 13-year-old, 14-year-old, and 15-year-old you can do a lot of things. According to the Government Site YouthRules!

  • You can deliver newspapers.
  • You can work as a baby-sitter.
  • You can work as an actor or performer in motion pictures, television, theater or radio.
  • You can work in a business solely owned or operated by your parents.
  • You can work on a farm owned or operated by your parents.

When You Turn 14 . . .

You also can work in an:

  • office,
  • grocery store,
  • retail store,
  • restaurant,
  • movie theater,
  • baseball park,
  • amusement park, or
  • gasoline service station.

You generally may not work in:

  • Communications or public utilities jobs,
  • Construction or repair jobs,
  • Driving a motor vehicle or helping a driver,
  • Manufacturing and mining occupations,
  • Power-driven machinery or hoisting apparatus other than typical office machines,
  • Processing occupations,
  • Public messenger jobs,
  • Transporting of persons or property,
  • Workrooms where products are manufactured, mined or processed, or
  • Warehousing and storage.

Does (Fill in Company Name) Hire Teens?

Category : Job Search

Teenagers are web-savvy, and rely on the internet for many aspects of their daily lives. Teenagers who use the internet to do their homework, communicate with their friends, shop, and entertain themselves, are learning to use the internet to find jobs.

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School-Year Job

Category : Careers , Job Search

You dont want to admit it. I dont want to admit it–but summer is almost over. For many of us that means our summer jobs are almost over too. Now comes the time to decide if employment should be secluded to the summer, or if you would like to work during the school year.

Some things to consider:

Can you do your job and get your homework done and go to your after school clubs (and even get a few hours of sleep in each night)? Are you willing to sacrifice extra-curricular activities for a job?

How much will you be making at this job during the school year? Is it worth the time and sacrifices you would have to make?

Can you get from school to work and back home easily? If you have to rely on public transportation, is the cost going to be worth the salary?

You cannot legally work during school hours, so are you willing to work at night and during weekends?

Is this job an opportunity that you cant pass up? Will it add to your skill-set or supplement your now growing resume? Will it provide you with connections and experiences that will greatly benefit you?

A school-year job is not for everybody, but it does have its perks. Make sure to consider every angle before making the commitment.