Here are some strategies for finding employment that we teach our young people at Mercy Home:

Networking: Ask family, friends, teachers, neighbors and your church community, “Who’s hiring?” If your child has an “in” anywhere, he or she is much more likely to be selected over someone unknown with similar experience.

Meeting managers: Encourage your teen to walk into a store, ask to speak with a hiring manager, shift manager or manager and make a positive impression. If an employer remembers your teen’s face and name, they’ll be more likely to pick him or her over an unknown applicant.

Turning in applications to the store: If the manager is not present, your child can chat with the employees and ask them about working there. If your teen can build a quick rapport with them, they may make a positive comment about him or her to the hiring manager.

Follow up: Experts say your teen should follow an application with a phone call or email 1-2 weeks later to show enthusiasm and dedication, and to keep their name fresh in an employer’s minds as they review applicants. “Hello, my name is Mary Dean and I am calling to check on the application I submitted last Wednesday.”

These strategies all showcase qualities like determination, communication, friendliness, and a dynamic personality—strengths that are hard to translate on paper, but that help make a memorable, positive impression. An employer may hire a less experienced candidate who seems like he or she will catch on quickly and fit well with the work environment.

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