It's a tough time to be hunting, but with a little luck and a lot of perseverance, your kid can land a summer gig. Follow these smart strategies to up his chances.

By Ashlea Halpern
  • Advise your teen to network: He should be asking teachers, counselors, coaches, and neighbors for job leads.
  • See if your city, county, or state offers a youth employment program; if not, encourage your teen to seek out temp agencies that work with adolescents.
  • Edit your child's resume; including advanced classes, clubs, and volunteer activities shows prospective employers that he's ambitious.
  • Make sure your teen dresses professionally, even when requesting applications: Teens who look the part are more likely to be offered an on-the-spot interview.
  • Discourage teens from applying for the same jobs as their friends: It sends a message that they're more interested in socializing than working.
  • Suggest he mail a handwritten thank-you note after an interview. It may seem like overkill for a minimum-wage job, but it's the little gestures that often seal the deal.
  • Urge your child to cast a wide net: Teens who get their heart set on one job sometimes end up empty handed.
  • Help your teen start a business if he's self-motivated and independent. Emphasizes his skills and interests, such as a pet-sitting company if he likes animals or an eBay store if he's tech-savvy.
  • Suggest volunteering to your kid if he can't land paying work. It'll look great on his resume and help him build a network that'll pay dividends later.

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