MIAMI, Fla. – Thousands of teenagers will be looking for employment this summer. So what are employers looking for in a good candidate? Below are some tips for teens and how to turn that summer job into a successful career path.
Kayla Abad has landed her dream job at the age of 19.
“I work at Trump International Beach Resort,” she said.
It all started in high school when she was offered a summer internship at a high-end hotel.
“I did the front office, I did the PBX which is the call center, front desk, I went up to the club lounge,” Abad said.
That led to a love of the hospitality industry, but it wouldn’t have happened without the summer youth internship program that introduces teens to the work force.
“These are the next generation of employers, employees, business leaders,” said Donovan Lee-Sin, director of public policy and community engagement for The Children’s Trust.
So what are employers looking for when it comes to a teenage job candidate? First and foremost: a positive attitude.
“We want somebody that’s going to come in, that’s going to smile, that has a lot of energy,” said Josie Podesta-Soto, organizational development and training manager at Trump International Beach Resort.
Come prepared, bring your resume
“The students that put a resume together really understand what it is to go to work in the workplace; they put a little effort into themselves,” Podesta-Soto said.
It may be summer, but no shorts and flip flops here. Look professional.
“They come in with their beautiful ties, the young men, their pressed shirts. The young ladies wear blazers,” Podesta-Soto said.
After the interview
Don’t forget to follow up with the employer.
“We always look for who has followed up with a thank you note or an email just to let us know that they’re interested,” Podesta-Soto said.
Kayla went from a paid internship earning $1,300 to another internship that led to a job as a human resources coordinator, working three days a week while going to college. She said she owes it all to that first summer job.
“This is something that is going to set you apart from your peers, from your friends, it will really help you out in the future,” Abad said.
Kayla is earning her degree in hospitality management.
Do your research
Abad tells teens to research the company you’re applying to before the interview to show you’re serious. The summer youth internship program, based in Miami-Dade County, plans to place 3,000 teens in jobs this summer. For more information on the program please visit www.getmyinterns.org or call 305-693-3005.