By Sarah Mahoney
These kids can communicate only with tech.
The downside: Teens have relied so much on e-mailing, IMing, and texting they may have poor face-to-face skills. "Our clients, especially major fast food chains, say teens need lots of help learning how to talk to people," Hughes says.
The upside: Their learning curve for new technology is shorter than older workers', and they can seamlessly integrate tech into all their activities.
How to help: Teach kids how to relate to others by pointing out people with good skills, stressing hand gestures, eye contact, respectful language, and tone of voice. Also make sure they send a handwritten thank-you the minute they leave the interview. If your teen says, "No one does that," tell her that's the point. "Kids who do this are so rare, it makes a big impression," says Boyer. If your teen submits information electronically, explain that e-mails should have complete sentences that are punctuated correctly. And she should write in a more formal way than when corresponding with friends.