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Jobs For Teenagers: Expert Series – Jennifer Byrd

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We journey on with our Expert Series, providing you valuable advice toward landing that first job and preparing for the road ahead. We’ve asked questions of recruiters, small business owners, and other experienced professionals. In this edition, we hear from recruiting manager Jennifer Byrd. She shares some great insight!

1. Briefly tell us about your role/experience in staffing/recruiting: I am the Recruiting Manager at York. We use a Centralized Recruiting model, meaning all of our initial interviews are conducted in Louisville over the phone. We have offices in Louisville, Shepherdsville, Nashville and southern Indiana. By using centralized recruiting we can recruit all across the country if needed.

2. What are some of the best jobs for teenagers that help gain valuable experience for the future? Any job experience is great. We know it isn’t as easy as it used to be to get a job before turning 18, so if you do get one, make sure you hold on to it! It’s not necessarily the position you work in, but the responsibility that you gain.

3. What would be your top 1 or 2 pieces of advice for a teenager preparing for their first job interview? Be prepared. Interviewing is a lot like giving a speech. If you are prepared for it, it’s not quite as bad. If you know what you are going to say and have practiced it, you will do much better. Research the company you are interviewing with instead of walking in blindly and look up some sample interview questions before you go. Bring a copy of your resume if you have one. Dress appropriately- don’t overdress or undress. Look at how the employees dress who are already employed and this should help you decide on what to wear. When in doubt, khakis and a nice shirt will work.

Also, bring  a notebook with a few questions you may have already written down. More than likely they will ask you if you have any questions during the interview and you may be nervous which will make it hard to think of something on “the fly” if you have them written down they will be easily accessable. The notebook is also good for you to take notes as you go through your interview.

4. For a teen who just needs money now, what are some of the best, perhaps less obvious, job opportunities to make decent money with no experience for someone 17 or 18 years old. Temporary and seasonal positions are good for this- especially if they are planning to go away to college in the near future. Most temporary agencies will require candidates to be 18 in order to be eligible for hire. Also, look at ball fields and retail places that only need summer or seasonal help.

5. Outside of a typical online search, are there other creative ways a teen could look for part-time or seasonal work? Again, staffing agencies are great for this, and I’m not just saying that b/c we are one J A lot of companies leave their recruiting/ hiring up to staffing agencies now- especially for seasonal employment.

6. Besides what we’ve asked already, what other advice would you give to a teenager entering the workforce for the first time? The main things most employers are going to look for is punctuality, attendance, a good attitude and performance. When you start a new job, take it serious. You have to be there when you are supposed to be, don’t call in unless it’s truly an emergency. Most employers want someone who shows they are responsible and mature.

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