Petco needs dog grooming assistants. Sports Authority wants merchandise handlers. Jamba Juice can use some juicers. And RiteAid hopes to find a "wellness ambassador."
From pet stores to pharmacies, the local job market for teens is warming up along with the weather.
And for teens thinking about a summer paycheck, now's the time to pounce. Hiring is expected to be better than during the pits of the recession, and there'll be less competition from jobless adults looking for part-time, seasonal work, say several hiring studies.
"Companies are doing better and have more room to hire teens. It's not a breakout year, but there's steady improvement in the job market and teens will get their share of that," said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. in Chicago.
Challenger's annual study of summer teen hiring said there's been a rebound from 2010, when teen hiring hit an all-time low of 960,000 -- the lowest level since 1949. Last year, it was up 13.2 percent, as 1.08 million teens landed employment in May, June and July.
This summer? Challenger estimates 1.2 million teens could land a summer job.
But don't procrastinate: 80 percent of managers in a recent survey say they expect to have all their summer hiring wrapped up by Memorial Day, according to SnagAJob.com , a Richmond, Va.-based website for hourly jobs.
"Get looking now. Do not wait," said SnagAJob spokeswoman Courtney Moyer.
When it comes to finding a job, there are always the traditional teenage go-tos: fast-food outlets, mall department stores, the snack bar at your community swimming pool.
The good news this summer is that teens will have far less competition from unemployed adults, who were desperate to take any job possible during the recession and often applied for seasonal jobs. Both Challenger and SnagAJob say teens' biggest competitors this summer will be their peers, not parent-age adults.
You can get started online. For instance, typing in "Teen Jobs" at www.SnagAJob.com pops up dozens of possibilities. The nationwide listings are grouped by city.
And consider your application -- whether you drop it off in person or push "send" from your computer -- to be your first impression with a potential employer.
If you're stopping by an office with an application, show you're serious: dress appropriately, be friendly, meet the deadline.
If it's an emailed application, be sure it's not riddled with spelling mistakes. Proofread it not just once but several times, Moyer suggests.
Another tip: Dress for the job you're seeking. Forget the flip-flops -- and the business suit -- unless you're applying for work at a surf shop or an internship in a law firm.
Once you've got a list of places, put together a basic resume then hit the road. Applying for work in person can make a difference. Take an evening or afternoon after school and you could easily cover 10 to 15 mall stores. Wherever possible, ask to meet with the manager, rather than handing your application to a clerk behind the counter.
What do employers look for in teens? According to SnagAJob's survey of summer hiring managers, they're seeking a "trifecta" of traits: the ability to work a flexible schedule (32 percent), a positive attitude (29 percent) and previous experience (26 percent).
Many teens worry they'll be left out based on a lack of experience, but Moyer says to think "outside the box." Baby-sitting, volunteering and other activities all count as experience.
And don't overlook what Challenger calls the "odd-job entrepreneur" opportunities. As many families cut back on monthly services such as lawn care, home cleaning or day care, teens can provide lower-cost baby-sitting, lawn mowing, housecleaning, window washing, pet sitting or walking, even flower or garden weeding.
"A teenager who can provide these services at a fraction of what professional services charge may be able to drum up enough business to earn a steady income," said Challenger.
Also look at places that get busier and may need extra help during summer months, such as hardware, home improvement and gardening centers. As the road trip season warms up, try places like JiffyLube or car wash outlets.
"The job search is the job itself," said SnagAJob's Moyer. "You may need to put in 15 to 25 applications. Don't give up."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
News for the Home Room
Most teachers believe search engines like Google are beneficial to their students, but they also think those same Internet research tools are creating an "easily distracted generation with short attention spans," according to a new study released earlier in November.
Seth Chumley, a senior at Benilde-St. Margaret's High School in St. Louis Park, Minn., hasn't given the slightest thought to buying a class ring.
Teenagers need their own space for so many reasons. Yes, they should be watched over and guided, but during the teen years, a need for independence sprouts and as parents we can help them feel comfortable in their own, personal independent space.
Less than half of the children in America who are eligible for a free or reduced breakfast take advantage of the USDA-provided meal.
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