The current economic malaise has made this a difficult job market. It's especially tough for teens because the consumer is especially weak -- and most jobs suited to teenagers are in the retail sector.
A recent SnagAJob survey shows that 49% of hiring managers aren't planning to hire anyone at all this summer -- and 54% of summer jobs that are available are expected to go to people who worked at the same place last summer.
What's a teen to do? Fill out a ton of applications. One expert quoted in this Fortune column suggests seeking employment at 12 or more places. if you're a parent, you'll want to help junior put together a professional-looking resume emphasizing scholastic, athletic, and community achievements. It's a competitive market, and even 14-year olds have to find a way to differentiate themselves from the pack.
In the long run, this is a wonderful opportunity for kids to develop great skills. Sure, it's a lot more fun when jobs are easier to come by. But learning how to interview well and make yourself stand out are skills that will serve kids well for their whole lives.
Another tip: getting a job with the government could have better resume-building and networking opportunities than folding Marilyn Manson t-shirts at Hot Topic. Check out StudentJobs.gov to find openings in your area. Jobs there may be more plentiful. As Ron Paul will tell you, the government continues to expand rapidly.
How teens can get jobs this summer