Look Where the Teens Look
When looking for a summer job, you should think like a teen: What do you want to spend your summer doing? It may be hanging out at the local pool or beach to work as a lifeguard. Or you might learn that your favorite restaurant needs extra wait staff for the summer rush. There’s also the local movie theater or an amusement park in your area. All are likely to be taking on extra help during summer months.
Rediscover Your Youthfulness
"This is not the time to tell someone that you have a master's degree in economics if you're applying for a job in say, lifeguarding," says Robyn Feldberg, career coach and president of the National Resume Writers Association.
The first step to de-emphasizing age, she said, is to focus only on your relevant skills and minimize the rest. This could mean opting to only put your previous company's name on your resume and the time you spent there, instead of a job title, leaving room to expand on the fact that you taught swimming in college.
"You definitely want to go in there with the most youthful appearance you can project," Feldberg says. She suggests job seekers keep their wardrobe up to date and grey hairs hidden.
But the most important thing is to project an air of confidence. While staying casual and appropriate to the specific job, emphasize the ways in which your age and experience will make you a more reliable and successful employee.
Do Your Homework and Be Prepared for Skepticism
Just because this is your neighborhood pool or favorite bar doesn't mean that the basic job hunting skills don't apply.
"Walk in there prepared, knowing something about the business, knowing something about the problems that they are facing and how to present yourself as the solution to those challenges," Feldberg says.
This could mean emphasizing your flexible work hours or access to reliable transportation.
It's fine to touch on the situation that brought you to the job, but emphasize how willing and happy you are to work for them and remind them of what you bring to the table. Even if you are looking at the job as temporary, don't treat it as such.
"I've seen some people that got their foot in the door, proven themselves, and been offered better jobs in the company," Feldberg says. "It can always lead to more."