At the age of sixteen I got a job at a movie theater. It turned out to be a fantastic place to work for teens and was one of the most fun filled experiences of my early years.
A teen job at a movie theater is great for a student because the work hours typically fit pretty well with school schedules. The busiest hours at theaters are in the early evening and on weekends, when school is not in session, so teens are available to work.
The first teen job position they put me in was Ticket Taker. That’s the guy who stands at the little podium, asks for your tickets, tears them in half, and tells you which way to go to find your movie. It’s not a hard job by any stretch of the imagination. My boss liked the work I did there because I kept myself clean and presentable and I smiled all the time. So when customers walked in I created a good first impression for them. I also made sure to encourage people to stop at the concession stand first and buy some goodies. I would usually say something like, “Hi. Your movie is in theater 7. We just popped a fresh batch of popcorn, so grab a bag of that and enjoy your show.” It may sound corny to you now, but my boss loved it. And it never hurts to have the boss happy with you.
My next teen job post was as a helper in the concession stand. I would stand beside one of the cashiers and listen to what each customer was ordering. Then I would run and grab it. I filled bags with popcorn, filled cups with Coke, and fetched bags of M&Ms and Milk Duds. So by the time the cashier had finished counting out the change for the customer, all of their snacks were sitting on the counter ready to go. The Manager of the theater would give a prize (usually passes to get friends in for free movies) to the two-person team that sold the most at the concession stand every night. So there was always a competition to keep our line moving quickly and encourage customers to buy more and bigger stuff.
After a few days, I got a good feel for the concession stand and I started operating the cash register. Again, being clean and presentable and greeting customers with a smile made customers feel warm and fuzzy so they naturally wanted to buy their food from me; which meant I sold more and usually won the nightly competition. It also meant I was valuable to my Manager. So he worked to keep me happy by giving me the hours that I wanted and by not breathing down my neck while I was on the job.
As I continued in my teen job at the movie theater I got several pay raises and bonuses, and I rotated through several other responsibilities. Some nights I would sell tickets in the box office. Some nights I was on clean-up crew (sweeping theaters between movies) which was actually one of the easiest jobs for teens at the theater. I eventually moved into the role of Projectionist, which is the guy who runs the projectors up above the theater. Now that was a cool job for a teenager. I got to watch all of the movies. Because he trusted me not to goof off, my boss would occasionally let me have a friend up there with me (chicks loved it!)
Most of the other employees at the movie theater were teenagers too. So we were all friends and we had a great time. If I was a teenager today, using a Teen Job Finder service to locate a job, I would start by looking at teen jobs in movie theaters. My experiences as a teen in that job were great, and I hope yours will be too.
When a company posts a job opening on a Teen Jobs website they are likely to get hundreds, maybe thousands of resumes. To the person reviewing all of those job applications getting that large number of resumes is a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that somewhere in the huge file of Teen Jobs seekers there will be at least one person who will be a great fit for the job. The bad news is that it’s going to be a whole lot of work to sort through and read every single resume to figure out who that person is.
In reality, the person who receives all of those Teen Jobs applications is very unlikely to actually read them. Chances are they will store all of the teen jobs resumes and teen jobs applications in a database on their computer. Then they will run a search query for specific keywords that they believe will help them find the ideal candidates for their teen jobs.
So how do you optimize your teen jobs resume to make sure that the computer search engine puts your application at the top of the list for Teen Jobs? (This is often referred to as Search Engine Optimization or SEO.) The answer is that you’ve got to load it up with the keywords that the companies with teen jobs are using in their searches.
The best place to start is to read the wording of the teen jobs ad or teen jobs listing that they wrote and posted out on the web. There’s a good chance that the person who writes their teen job listings is also the person who searches through the resumes. So reading their teen job posting will give you some insight into the words they will use in their search query. If you can do this, and customize your resume and cover letter with those specific words for each of the different Teen Jobs you apply to, you’ll greatly increase your odds of getting called in for an interview.
The list below shows a selection of some of the most common keywords that appear in listings for Teen Jobs. Find a way to work these keywords into your resume or application for teen jobs and more employers will take a closer look at you for their teen job openings.
Common Keywords for Teen Jobs:
Courteous, Self-Motivated, Friendly, Attention to Detail, Careful, Clean, Organized, Customer Service, Efficient, Cashier, Assistant, Inventory, Communication Skills, Outgoing, Enthusiastic, Service Minded, Committed, High Energy, Math Skills, Professional, Team Leader, Award, Managed
As I write this article for Teen Job Finder it’s just September; but, believe it or not, some employers, especially retail stores and malls, are gearing up for the Christmas Holiday shopping season. They are going to need to hire extra employees, mostly teenagers, for the few weeks leading up to Christmas for two reasons. First, the stores will be packed with shoppers and they’ll need to hire teen workers to stock the shelves, operate the cash registers, help customers find stuff to buy, and keep the place clean. Second, several of their regular employees will want some days off for the holiday and they will need extra people, again mostly teen employees, to fill in.
So if you’re looking for a temporary teen job to get a little extra spending money to buy gifts, malls, big retail stores, and toy stores are great places to look. Or if you want to find long term work that goes beyond just a seasonal teen job, this may be your opportunity to get your foot in the door. Many permanent employees start off as short-term teen employees. They get in on a Christmas Holiday Teen Job and do such great work that their bosses decide to keep them on indefinitely.
Before you start applying for teen jobs, take a few minutes to read these other teen job finder articles so that you have a leg up on the thousands of other teen job finders that will be competing with you in the Christmas Holiday Job market.
Once you’re prepared for your teen job finder search, head out to the local mall. Be prepared to spend some time, because you may have to fill out several applications. Start at the mall office or information center to see if they have a central place where all of the shops post their teen job openings.
Good luck, and check our home page for other valuable teen job finder resources.
I recently asked several hundred recruiters in my network (many of whom have teen jobs available) to send me the advice they would give to teenagers trying to find jobs. Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting their responses. And, if they typically have teen jobs available I’ll post their contact and application information for your benefit.
This first response is from K.P. who is a recruiter in Sydney, Australia. At her request, her contact information has been withheld.
The first piece of advice I would offer to teens who are seeking work would be to continue with their education. Whether it be at university, TAFE (stands for Technical and Further Education institutions. They provide a wide range of predominantly vocational tertiary education in Australia. Fields of study include construction, hospitality, engineering, tourism, community work, secretarial skills, computer programming and visual arts.) or a trade school, employers tend to view those who have been able to complete at least tertiary education as more reliable, as it is seen to demonstrate commitment, which is vitally important when you are talking about someone who has limited experience in the workforce. This tends to increase the chance that an employer will offer this person the opportunity to prove themselves, as it is generally believed that they will be more likely to commit to the job offered. (not necessarily true, I know)
- Know what you want to achieve out of your career in the short-term. Whether it be more experience in the workforce, to develop specific skill sets, or to try a certain career path, it is important to know WHY you want to work!
- Always dress to impress, but don’t go over the top!
A suit, or dress pants/skirt with shirt is always the most appropriate option. If you’re not sure of an employer’s dress code, it’s best to be more formally attired than less. Also, makeup (if worn) should be kept simple and as natural as possible.
- Don’t use slang or colloquialisms in interviews
You will be judged on your ability to communicate, and it is bad form to use slang, or swear words for that matter, and you would be surprised how many people fall into this trap – no matter what their age!
- Show respect if you wish to be respected
Be polite and courteous to everyone in the organization, especially the receptionist! People in office environments talk – and you would be amazed at how many people have missed out on roles with various clients because they were rude to the front-of-house staff, even after performing well at interview
- Do your research
Not only does this demonstrate initiative, it shows the employer that you are truly interested in working for their organization, and have an understanding of how you can develop, whilst adding value to their team.
- Ask for feedback
I will never forget the most memorable teen candidate whom I interviewed (only a few weeks back mind you!) who was a little nervous during the process, and I wasn’t completely won over straight away. After the interview ended, they asked me directly for feedback and suggestions on how to improve their technique (which actually caught me off guard!). We had a frank and honest discussion about how their answers could be improved, & what their strong and weak points were. This approach left me with a very positive impression, as they were obviously very serious about finding a role & improving their chances to find work. Less than a week later, I found them long-term employment in the role of their dreams!
- Be yourself!
Don’t go to interviews trying to be someone you are not, as most interviewers will employ techniques which will include the clarification of certain points, as well as behavioural techniques that are designed to pick up on any inconsistencies. and this is not looked upon favourably. In today’s job market, employers are looking for someone who will fit well into their team – and for this reason, it is important to be as honest as you can, especially when it comes to your abilities and expectations, as there is nothing worse on a resume than being employed for a brief period, only to be terminated as a result of a misrepresentation during the selection process. It is better for both parties to be upfront about all aspects in order to ensure the right match is found for everybody.
Thanks to K.P. for her input. Read on to our other posts below and keep checking back for more help in your search for teen jobs.