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Job Search Etiquette for Teens

For teenagers in the United States, spring is the time to look for a summertime job. From April to July 2012, the number of teenagers looking for a job rose by 2.1 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By July 2012, more than 50 percent of teenagers had some sort of employment. Teenagers who stick to the traditional etiquette rules when searching for a job might find that they have a better chance of finding work.

Preparation

Teach your teenager the basics of writing a cover letter, if he doesn't already know. He should find out who to address the letter to and the person's address. Have him proofread the letter before sending it. If he does get the interview, help him learn as much about the company as possible. You can hold a mock interview session with your teen so that he can practice answering common interview questions and asking questions.

Behavior

Remind your teenager that being on time for an interview means being early. Arriving early will give your teen time to compose herself. It will also show respect for the employer. Some behaviors that are obviously verboten for adults might not be so obvious for teens. Tell your teenager not to chew gum or check her phone for messages during the interview. Remind her to switch off the phone before entering the building. Tell her to address the interviewer formally, as "Mr." or "Ms.," to make eye contact and to shake hands at the beginning and end of the interview.

Attire

Choosing an outfit that's appropriate for the job interview can make a teen stand out in the eyes of an employer. Depending on the type of job, a teenager might not have to wear a suit. If she is applying for an internship at a professional organization, the suit is the way to go. Less formal jobs, such as a cashier's position at a supermarket or sales associate job at a clothing store, call for less formal, but still appropriate attire. A pair of khakis or a skirt with a button-up shirt are acceptable for many jobs. Clothing that is clean and in good condition is a must, as is good hygiene, combed hair and tasteful, but not excessive, makeup.

Follow Up

Have the teenager send a physical thank-you note or letter after the interview. The teen should thank the employer for taking the time to meet with him, express interest in the job and recap an incident or topic from the interview. Your teen can follow up with the employer beyond the thank-you letter if he doesn't hear anything. It's acceptable to call the employer or send an email a few times to inquire about the status of the job. Remind your teen to be polite when calling and not to get upset with the employer if the job went to someone else.



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