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8 Job Search Tips for Teens

While last year's teen unemployment rate of 28 percent was nightmarish, this year's number will be much worse, says Andrew Sum, professor of economics and director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, in Boston. Even though the economy is picking up steam, unemployed adults are continuing to muscle in on teen-job territory, especially in the retail sector. And the younger the teen, Sum says, the more brutal the outlook. Still, there are jobs out there, and with luck, pluck, a parental push, and these make-it-happen strategies, your child can land one.
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Many kids find jobs through their parents, says Sum. Check your address book for anyone who might be willing to hire your teen. Then have your child rehearse a script with you before he picks up the phone, as in: "My mom is in your book group and she suggested I ask if you could use some help with your landscaping business." Also help him develop a good follow-up line, which is important because many teens will feel shot down if they hear anything other than an enthusiastic "You're hired!" Explain that he should create an opening for future conversations by saying, "Thanks for taking my call. Let me give you my number, so if things change or you hear of anything else, you can contact me. And is it okay if I check back with you in a week or so?"