Neatness, promptness key for teens finding, keeping job

SHERIDAN — It’s summer time and the livin’ is easy. However, for teens, summer time can mean having to enter the workforce.

With schools closing their doors for three months, youths are brushing up their interview skills, polishing up their resumes and searching for a job that can give them some extra spending cash.
“Its not quick, obtaining a job and retaining it is a lot of work,” said Linda Orchard, manager of the Sheridan office of the Department of Workforce Services.

Orchard said her office can assist young job hunters trying to land a summer job and works with youth ages 14-21 in trying to find employment.

They can help a young person with developing a resume, showing them how to fill out an application or even going through a mock interview.

She said that many of the jobs available for young people are typically service related whether it be in Sheridan’s tourism for food service industries. Yard and garden work as well as child care are also popular jobs for teens.

Orchard said there are two specialists at the Department of Workforce Services that work specifically with young people. She said that they can guide applicants toward a job they enjoy. She said they take into account skills that a teen may have, even if they may be applying for their first formal job. For instance if a young person babysat a younger brother or sister, they may be suitable for a child care position. Orchard added it is important for the young person to remember what kind of environment they want to work in. If they enjoy being outside, a yard care job may be a good fit.

One Sheridan business that employs several young people is the Centennial Theatre. Owner Bill Campbell said that working at a theater is a good starting job for many young people.

“It isn’t super taxing, where you might get overwhelmed,” Campbell said. “You start to understand what customer service is.”
Campbell said that he employs about 18-20 young people during the summer and when positions open up he may have 15-20 applicants for three or four jobs.

He said one thing he looks for is an application that is filled out neatly.

He added that dressing neatly for the interview also counts.
Once a young person lands a job he said enthusiasm is important to be successful in the position.

“Do what you are asked and try to be a go getter,” he said. “If you move up in almost any business it is because you worked hard.”
Orchard echoed Campbell’s sentiments that neatness on the application and dress is important. She said be early to work and also communication is crucial, particularly with scheduling.
She said teens must be up front with potential employers about their availability. She said if a worker has a prior commitment, such as summer camps or sports practice, employers will most often accommodate an employee if they know before hand about the need.
Perhaps the most important thing Orchard said to remember about getting a job is to start early and knowing how to start.

“You have to understand where to go,” she said. “You can always come here (the Department of Workforce Services).”

Sheridan’s office for the Department of Workforce Services is at 61 S. Gould St. and they can be contacted at 672-9775.

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Tom Cotton

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