The Summer Job Market for Teens Looks Bleak

In just a few short months, school will be over for the summer and there will be a slew of teens and college students looking for work. But seasonal work this year might be hard to come by.

In a survey released by (a website that features hourly rate jobs), most employers say they’re not hiring seasonal help this year. That makes for fewer jobs. Plus, experts agree that summer vacations, camps, and other activities that teens might normally enjoy are on the down swing this summer because of the recession. That leaves lots of available teens who might be looking for work. Not to mention the fact, that experts believe that with oil prices sky rocketing and general inflation, more moms and dads are going to be asking junior to pick up some of the tab.

Despite the bleak outlook–there are ways to get up on the competition.

Super Savvy Preparation and Presentation

Despite the recession, there will always be some seasonal jobs available. Things like summer camps, waterfronts and swimming pools and amusement parks will always be hiring seasonally. One way to get the leg up on the competition is to prepare yourself with the right skills. Camp jobs make up more than one half of seasonal opportunities for young people. Now is the time to brush up on first aid skills and if you like to swim, consider going for your life guarding certification. (Lifeguards, on the scale of summer employment salaries, tend to make the best hourly rate.)

In the case of non-skilled work, like running the hot dog stand at the amusement park, employers are not necessarily looking for experience. Most employers say they are looking for a good attitude. Show up to your interview in a suit in tie if you’re a guy or a pant suit or dress if you’re a girl. Present yourself as a serious and hardworking young person and you’re more likely to get the job.

Become an Entrepreneur

Babysitting, yard maintenance, and similar jobs are always around for those who are willing to work hard. The trick to doing well in these types of job is to diversify your clientele. Post your services at the local grocery store bulletin board, in church, and when you do get a job–do a really good job. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to grow a business. While I can’t necessarily speak for landscaping, I will tell you as a mother that I only allow people to babysit my children who are highly recommended from other moms. And believe me, word gets around fast.

So although the forecast looks bleak, there still is hope for young people looking for seasonal jobs–if they’re prepared.

Valorie Delp shares recipes and kitchen tips in the food blog, solves breastfeeding problems, shares parenting tips, and current research in the baby blog, and insight, resources and ideas as a regular guest blogger in the homeschooling blog. To read more articles by Valorie Delp, click here.