Teen job applicants can benefit from a a bit of polish


By Kaylyn S. Jones

Open mindedness and honesty can get you hired.

Teens should be persistent and efficient when seeking seasonal jobs in a plodding economy. jobs are hard to come by so the more prepared you are, the better.

“When looking for work you should find something you enjoy, fill out multiple applications, check the status of your application, be honest, dress professional for interview, and never give up,” said Raven English, a cashier associate at Target in University City.

Alexis Ford, student at Cato Middle College is currently unemployed but still finds a way to keep money in her pockets. “I make extra money by offering to babysit my neighbor’s children and I also started my own business where I sell clothes that I hand make. I use media to display my product and see if anyone is interested,” said Ford.

The first step in seeking employment is finding what job is right for you. Settling for any job won’t do because you may resent working there. Who wants to show up daily for a job they are unhappy with? This can be avoided; all it takes is a few minutes to find out what interests you. Is it retail? Fast food? Childcare?

The next step is to fill out applications. When applying for seasonal jobs it is best to always  submit applications ahead of time. For example if you are looking for summer jobs it is best to start the process in the spring.

“Another thing I recommend for anyone seeking employment is to turn in your applications in person rather than submitting online,” English said. “I prefer this method over online applications because it gives me the opportunity to meet the manager face to face.”

Afterward, follow up by calling the manager to check on the status of your application. Persistence is key. Call at least a couple times a week- it could be the difference getting an interview or a cursory glance before being rejected. “Following up is an important step in the application process because it shows that you actually want the job,” English said. “Also it makes you known because a lot of people turn in applications daily.”

Edith McMillan, a centralized refinance manager at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, looks for honest and open-minded employees.  “When seeking new employees I look for someone who is determined, willing to learn, and someone who likes a challenge.” “When going in for an interview relax, answer the questions as honest as possible, always give good examples, and most important sell yourself. Give the person a reason to want to hire you,” she said.

“Keep trying and never give up, you will get the results you want depending on how much effort you put in,” said Ford.


  • Be on time, preferably early. Show up to your interview 10-15 minutes early.
  • Dress appropriate. when applying for corporate jobs business attire such as slacks, suits, skirts and blazers should be worn. Wear loafers, sensible heels, or flats, no sneakers,
  • Answer questions honestly. Tell the truth about your background and qualifications.
  • Sell your yourself. Explain why you are the best candidate for the job.



  • Arrive late. Showing up late is a dealbreaker.
  • Wear casual clothing. Dress professional to impress.
  • Chew gum. This is rude and unprofessional, managers understand you better when you aren’t chewing and talking.
  • Use profanity, slang, or any other derogative terms. This language is used out side of the workplace and should stay there.

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