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9 Tips for Freshman to Succeed in Summer Jobs

Teens are an important part of the labor force and have a lot to offer. In 2006 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that more than 8 million working teenagers were added to the payroll. Many of these working teens are college freshman, sophomores or even juniors. Many of these teens are HBCU students.
Although these teenagers are valuable in the workplace, many employers experience difficulty getting them to be productive. Sometimes employers forget that even though these students are in college, they are still teenagers.

Working teens can definitely succeed on their summer jobs or part time jobs and make a positive impression if they pay attention to these positive workplace behaviors.

Be a Team Player. Get Along With Other People
The National Association of Colleges and Employers surveys employers annually to find which job skills employers want from new hires. Teamwork and the ability to work well with others consistently show up on that list. It is a job skill employers expect teen college students to demonstrate on their resumes, in the interview and while in their summer job.

Be Respectful
Showing respect for supervisors, co-workers and customers is a good workplace habit that working college students should master early.

Manage Time
The workplace is far more time sensitive than college can be. Unlike college, there are not many opportunities to turn in late work or show up late in the workplace. I am not suggesting that college students should turn in late work, but I am saying that employers and professors may react very differently to bad habits. Teen workers may not get a second chance to make a first impression on the job.

Be Dependable; Show up as Scheduled
Employers are relying on teen workers to show up for work as scheduled. Their businesses are depending on it.

Be Willing to Go Above and Beyond Without Compromising Safety
To succeed on the summer job, college teenagers should demonstrate a willingness to go above and beyond expectations.

Be an Effective Communicator
A summer job is a great opportunity for college students to develop and using strong interpersonal and communication skills. Teens need to know that even though they exist in a “sound-bite” and “texting” world, a different type of communication business etiquette is required at work. (Read – Cell Phone Etiquette for College Students)

Be Visible
Hiding from work is not an option on the job. Supervisors do not want to search for their college workers who are avoiding assignments or hanging out with friends. Be professional.

Be Willing to Learn; Be Open to Criticism

Teen workers should keep their supervisors informed of their work and ask for feedback. Ask for clarification of instructions and ask for help. Employers prefer working with teens who ask for clarification rather than make costly product mistakes or, even worse, jeopardize their personal safety or the safety of other workers.

Be Confident; Ask for Additional Assignments or Training.
As new skills are mastered, employers are very open to changing the roles of their teen workers if it will enhance overall business productivity. College students should become confident enough to ask for reference letters and recommendation letters at the end of a summer job assignment if they have done well.

As college career center staff will remind students all the time, these summer job experiences go a long way when college students are looking for internships and career programs post graduation.
Further reading – Campus Jobs are Real Jobs Too!
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