Teens Get Primer on Finding Summer Jobs

Jun 07, 2017

Lori Pepenella, chief executive officer of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, recently gave a course on how to look and apply for summer jobs at the Oasis Family Success Center, located at St. Mary’s Church in Barnegat. The 20 attendees included 14- to 17-year-old students and their parents.

Pepenella  brought them working papers as well as information on the Southern Ocean Chamber Job Ops Facebook page, which features member job listings. She also shared overall information available on New Jersey Department of Labor website regarding age-appropriate restrictions for younger hires and how they differ during summer or non-school weeks.

“I explained the importance of work schedule and how being hired is a commitment for the season,” she said, as well as “when considering what jobs to apply for, if they have allergies to certain foods or products, reliable transportation and allowing enough time to get to work during peak summer traffic hours.”

The talk also covered interview tips, what to ask regarding wages, the importance of communicating with the manager in advance of any days or time that you are unavailable and how to follow up after the interview or application is submitted.

“A main point was, if the student lacks work experience, what else can enhance their application, such as volunteering, positions of responsibility at school organizations and what references to consider that would make the application stand out,” said Pepenella.

She offered some “do’s and don’ts” when interviewing for a job. Pepenella said a prospective employee should arrive for the interview 10 minutes early and dress appropriately.

“You should ask questions regarding responsibilities, shifts and scheduling,” she said. “Bring references; talk about experience and responsibilities you have undertaken. If hired, bring working papers for the employer to fill out.”

Things you shouldn’t do include having the cell phone out during an interview, interrupting the hiring manager or giving them an email address or phone number that you do not check daily.

“Don’t make a commitment to accept a job if you do not have reliable transportation or will not be able to work scheduled shifts,” she said.

Some of the regulations covered included the fact that minors cannot work more than six consecutive days. They must be given a 30-minute meal break after five continuous hours of work.

During school weeks, minors ages 14 and 15 can work no more than 18 hours per week and no more than three hours per day on school days. They cannot work more than eight hours per day on Saturday or Sunday.

On non-school weeks, they cannot work more than 40 hours per week and not more than eight hours per day. The youngsters are not allowed to work for more than six consecutive days in a pay week and not before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. during the school year.

During school weeks and non-school weeks, minors ages 16 and 17 can work for no more than 40 hours per week and no more than eight hours per day. They are allowed to work for no more than six consecutive days in a pay week, and also not before 6 a.m. or after 11 p.m.

On non-school weeks, they cannot work before 6 a.m. or after 3 a.m. in restaurants and seasonal amusements and need written permission from a parent.

— Eric Englund


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