It used to be that there were certain jobs teens could count on each summer: caddying, working at an amusement park, busing tables, etc.

But as Americans lose their jobs and middle-aged workers look for extra jobs to help replenish depleted retirement savings and home equity, teens are finding people old enough to be their parents and grandparents in line for job applications. And with little experience under their belts, teens are having a hard time competing.

In the long run though, this is actually good for teens. Now that summer jobs are harder to come by, they'll have to develop job-hunting skills that will serve them well later in life: Scouting for a wide range of opportunities, dressing appropriately, putting on a good show for job interviews, following up, and just overall acting like a hard-working determined individual rather than an entitled brat.

For hard-working teens who are willing to make a commitment to being professional and presentable, there are jobs available. Instead of lamenting the bad economy, parents and schools should devote some time over the last couple months of school to helping students develop the skills to get hired.

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