How to Get Jobs for Teens in Fast Food Restaurants

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How to Get Jobs for Teens in Fast Food Restaurants. Fast food restaurants are among the largest employers of teens in the United States, since they're generally willing to hire people with little work experience. Managers also expect that they will have to train new employees on the job, so fast food joints can represent one of the most direct routes to employment for teens looking for their first part-time jobs.

Ensure that you are legally entitled to work in your state. You'll need to have an active Social Security number and be at least your state's minimum legal working age. While this age varies from state to state, by the time you're 16 years old, you should be good to go, no matter where you live.

Favor fast food restaurant whose menus you know well if you're going to opt to apply at one of the larger chains. In-depth product knowledge will help you make a good impression when it comes time for your job interview.

Apply to all kinds of fast food restaurants--they're virtually always hiring because of the relatively high rate of employee turnover. Get applications for jobs on the McDonald's, Subway, Burger King and Wendy's websites (see Resources below). Apply to Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC and A&W at YumCareers.com (see Resources below).

Apply at restaurants that are off the beaten path. In addition to fast food chains, teens should also look into regional or local eateries as well as family-owned independent restaurants. However, jobs may be harder to come by at smaller places, as the scale of their operation limits the number of employees they need.

Drop by the restaurant in person to get an application form. You'll need to be able to list the exact starting and ending dates of any previous employment experience you have as well as the contact information of your supervisor, so make sure you have that information on hand.

Ask to see the manager in charge of hiring when you turn in your application. Give your application directly to that individual, be polite and indicate your strong desire to work at the restaurant. Get the manager to put a face to your name--it's a good way to give yourself an advantage over the other applicants.

Practice your interview skills. Your high school guidance office or local government-run human resources service may run workshops that prepare teens for success in job interviews. Take advantage of these services, and apply the lessons you learn to seal the deal.

Tip

Follow up about a week after you submit your application and meet with your prospective employer. Call the restaurant, ask to speak to the manager you met with (or the person responsible for doing the hiring) and politely inquire about the status of your application. Reiterate your strong interest in the position, and you'll increase your chances of landing it.

Warning

Appearance and first impressions matter a great deal. If you're going to go out looking for a job, aim for a respectable appearance, stand up straight and smile. Otherwise, you may seal your fate before you even finish filling out an application form.

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