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support for parents

Recent research has once again shown that parents and guardians are the biggest influence on the choices that school leavers make. Whether your teenager already has their mind set on a particular career path, or they are open to all possibilities, you will best be able to support them if you are well informed about the options yourself. In this section, we'll be bringing you insights and advice from across a variety of organisations so that you can help steer your school leaver towards a path that most suits them.

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11 July 2017 | Advice for Parents | Thomas Peacock

As a parent, it is your job to guide your child, teach them the skills they need to be independent, and provide them with an extra boost of confidence when they need it. All of these come into play as your teenager gets ready to start their very first job. This is an exciting time in their life where they are truly spreading their wings and learning new responsibility. At the same time, it can be a bit stressful and overwhelming for them, as a job is a big step.

This is where your job as a parent comes into play: you can provide them with career advice that will help prepare teens looking to enter the workforce.

Prepare them for the search

Deciding they want a job and finding a job are two different tasks. It is important that you prepare your teenager for the process that it takes to find and secure a job. Let them know it can be a long process, and that it requires a lot of patience and hard work on their end.

It is important that teens realise this is normal and not to give up. Once they become an adult the process does not get much easier. So, this is an excellent opportunity for them to learn just how difficult it can be out there. It will also help them to appreciate their job that much more once they find one.

While you cannot go out there and get a job for them, you can certainly show your teen where to look.

Help your teen prepare a CV/resume

Another big item you can help your teenager with is their cv/resume. This is a chance to wow an employer through their skills and relevant work experience. There are plenty of free resume writing templates that can be found online that simply require you to fill in the blanks. CVs/Resumes should be kept to a maximum of two pages, and a cover letter should be just a couple of paragraphs.

A good tip to give your teenager is to customize each cover letter so that it appeals to that particular employer. Typically, all that is required is a few lines at the beginning in order to give it that personal touch. This tends to work much better than a generic cover letter that is given out with each job application.

Time to prepare for the interview process

One of the most nerve-wrecking things to go through both for teenagers and adults looking for a job is the interview process. It never feels easy, no matter your age or how many times you have been through it. This is why it is extremely important to practice and prepare to answer a variety of questions. There are a few common questions that are typically asked in job interviews, so these are excellent to practice with. They include:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What made you apply to this job?
  • What kind of skills or experience do you have that would help you succeed in this job?
  • What do you hope to gain from this job?
  • You should also encourage your teen to ask questions of the employer, as this shows interest in the job and an unexpected level of responsibility.

Appropriate Attire for the Interview

While discussing the interview questions, this is also a good time to bring up appropriate job interview attire. Now is not the time to be sporting ripped jeans, hoodies, and sneakers. No matter how casual the job itself may be, it is always best to show up to an interview looking professional. This does not mean dress clothes, necessarily, but presentable clothing such as khakis, dress pants, button down shirt, blouse, or a polo shirt.

As the saying goes, it is important to dress for success and look the part. This is their chance to make a great first impression.

Make sure to follow up with a thank you

The last tip to pass along takes place after the job interview. It is a good idea to follow up with a thank you note that lets the employer know how much you appreciated the opportunity to speak with them. In some cases, this follow up can be what ends up clinching the job itself. Even if they do not land the job, the employer may keep them in mind for future positions.

They’re armed and ready to go

Now that you have provided them with a wealth of information, tips, and advice, all that is left to do is instil confidence and send them on their way. Before you know it, they will have landed their first job and have a taste of what it is like to be out in the working world.