Workforce Wednesday: Do's and Don'ts for Youth Summer Job-seekers

Summer is right around the corner, and that means Utah’s teenagers are looking for summer jobs. Thanks to strong job growth we’ve consistently seen in the economy, opportunities abound for young job-seekers. But some simple mistakes could hamper your job search—just as some easy actions could give you a leg up. Our Youth Program Specialist Kimber Burks went on the KUTV News noon show and shared these quick do’s and don’ts for summer employment.


Use your cell phone during the interview

Cell phone use is common among teenagers, but perhaps it’s becoming too common. Employers tell us that young applicants are often answering texts or calls in the job interview itself. This is a big thing to avoid—because it can instantly lose you the job. Keep the cell phones away when you’re chatting with a potential employer.

Tell an employer your life story

Employers are very interested in your skills and work ethic—not your personal reasons for needing a job. Telling them you need extra cash to buy the latest gaming system, or to help cover rent, won’t entice them to hire you; highlighting your past successful jobs and why the company would benefit from having you on board will.

Post unprofessional content on social media

Your social media profiles all tell a story about you, and that story can be openly accessible by the public—including employers. Think before you post a picture, share a link, or write a comment. Ask “what message will this convey to someone I might want to work for one day?”


Create a stellar resume

Community service, volunteer activities, professional clubs, past jobs—all of these things can look great on a resume. Think of your resume like the movie trailer to your professional life. You want it to share enough information to hook a potential employer and land you an interview.

Do a mock interview

Interviewing for jobs can feel intimidating, and luckily you don’t have to go into them without practice. A mock interview is a great way to polish your ability to answer questions about yourself and convey your best professional traits.

Create separate social media for jobs

Your digital presence still matters—and can actually be a good tool to tell your story. You might consider having separate social media profiles that you use for professional purposes. These are easily shared with employers, and allow you to keep your personal life and work life a little more separate. Even so, this should be an excuse to post questionable content on your personal pages.

Job searching doesn’t have to be a daunting challenge. With these do’s and don’ts, it can be a much smoother process. Workforce Services provides mock interviews and resume guidance for job-seekers. Visit to take advantage of our numerous free online resources, or find one of our 31 employment centers stretched across the state.

For more information about services specifically for youth, click here.

*Every Wednesday, Workforce Services takes a special look at issues or initiatives that affect Utah's workforce. Hop on Twitter to follow the latest innovations that help Utahns take their careers to the next level: #WorkforceWednesday