Columbia Heights, Minnesota
By Zamzam Ahmed, iLander Staff Reporter
Finding a job in this economy can be difficult. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate among teens has skyrocketed since the 1990s to more than 20 percent, but learning a few tricks can increase the chances of a student being hired.
Some students overlook the basics of good interview skills and come off as immature or not prepared.
“I remember when I first started applying for jobs,” said Columbia Heights teen Adriana Carchi. “I was unaware of how to act or look. I came off nervous and not confident, which is why I never got hired.”
It wasn’t until Carchi sought advice from her College Possible coach, Cynthia Anderson-Bauer, that her odds of getting hired improved. She worked on creating a resume, learning to speak confidently and dress professionally, and in a matter of weeks she applied again with more confidence. Carchi has been working at Northtown Mall for more than a year now and plans to save for college.
The struggle to find jobs for many students is the same, but resources are available for students to aid them in their search. For example, Columbia Heights High School offers a work study program taught by Scott Roehm. Located in the career center, the class focuses on creating resumes and even has mock interviews so students can practice being confident.
“The work study program is very beneficial, in fact a majority of the students find a job after they participate in the program,” Roehm said.
For students, they gain an opportunity to learn how to behave in a work environment and eventually land jobs themselves. The class allows students to work during the school day if they’re on track to graduate.
“The work study program was so helpful,” said CHHS senior Angelica Toledo. “Unfortunately, it is also very underrated. Many students don’t even know it exist(s), but it really did prepare me for my job.”
Although finding a job can be very difficult, knowing where to look can make all the difference.
Whether a student works just to make spare money, pay for college or pay bills, a job and money is an important part of the teen experience.
The iLander has written about jobs in the past. For more tips on applying and interviewing, try out one of the following stories:
1. "Keys to a Successful Job Interview," by Francisco Rivera.
2. "Getting a Job During the Recession: Things Are Looking Better," by Francisco Rivera.
3. "Heights Students Tackle the Tough Job Market," by Stephanie Korsunsky.