Help wanted

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Looking for summer work? Here are a few tips to help you land the job.

Remember what your mom always said about first impressions?

It's true: They are important, especially when it comes to landing a summer job.

Making a good first impression is what Cheryl Roeger spends a good deal of her time ingraining in job-seeking young adults.

Roeger, a workforce development specialist with Missouri's Division of Workforce Development, spends three days a week at the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center working with both adults and students on finding jobs, developing resumes and interview skills.

"Finding a job is one thing, but they need to know how to apply and dress for an interview," said Roeger. "Students ask, 'Why do I have to dress up?' Well, it's all about that first impression."

Roeger suggests networking with friends and family members to learn about job opportunities. She also says to ask business owners if they're hiring, even if there isn't a "help wanted" sign up.

"Some of the best jobs are obtained by word of mouth," said Roeger.

Here are a few more tips from Roeger:

* When you pick up an application, be prepared to interview on the spot. That includes dressing appropriately.

* Sell yourself. Always be positive.

* Even if you have no prior work experience, you can still develop a resume listing your special skills or knowledge. For example, if you're reliable or well-organized, include that in your resume. Any organizations you've been involved in that demonstrate your skills should also be listed.

Job ideas for teens age 15 and younger from Quintessential Careers:

* A cleaning service -- Maybe you hate doing your chores at home, but getting paid for doing them is completely different. You could offer complete housecleaning services, or specialize in one or more areas, such as attic/basement/garage cleanups.

* A yard maintenance service -- There is always something that needs to be done Ö mowing lawns and weed control in the spring and summer, raking leaves in the fall, and shoveling snow and planting for the spring in the winter.

* An errand, messenger, or delivery service -- This idea works best in larger cities where there are more people and public transportation, but these are busy times and people need help with all sorts of errands.

* A car-detailing business -- With so many people working multiple jobs and having such busy lifestyles, very few people have the time to really take care of their cars, and you could offer a weekly or monthly service of washing, waxing, vacuuming, etc.

* A pet sitting service -- Typically more of a summer business when people tend to go on vacation, but you might be able to have a year-round business by offering pet walking, bathing, cleaning, etc. services.

* A PC tutor/Web site development service -- Are you a whiz with computers and the Web? Well, many adults are not, and you could make a good business helping people learn to use PCs and develop Web sites for their families or for their businesses.

* A catering service -- Do you enjoy cooking and baking? In these busy times, if you can provide a service that offers well-cooked meals, you could be successful.

* A painting service -- If you have some experience, or a few of your friends want to go in business with you, you might consider a painting business. People are always renovating, and you could paint exteriors in the nicer months and interiors during the colder months.

* An educational tutoring service -- If you have expertise in one or more areas, music, foreign language, math and science, or others, you could offer tutoring sessions to children, teens and adults in your neighborhood.

* A freelancing service -- If you are truly gifted in a certain field, such as writing, drawing or photography, consider starting a freelancing business where you sell your wares to various businesses and media outlets.

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