How To: Understand What Motivated Teens Are Doing This Summer

by , Jul 21, 2011, 8:01 AM
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For teens looking for summer jobs and internships, last year was one of the toughest markets yet, and this year probably isn't any better. Employers nationwide only hired 960,000 young people ages 16 to 19 for summer work last year. That was the lowest level of summer hiring since 1949.

Even in 2009, when work was still hard to come by, employers hired nearly 1.2 million young people for summer jobs. At the most recent peak in 2005, 1.7 million young people found summer employment.

Jobs and internships in marketing and advertising are among the most competitive to land. With the rise of social media use and all of the new technology coming out, these positions have become extremely coveted.

So what can young people do to help their chances of getting a gig? And what should marketers and advertisers promoting open spots keep an eye out for? Here's a few pointers:

1. Teens will begin to step away from the computer. Teens' best chance for success this year is to hit the pavement and knock on doors. The personal touch sets the groundwork in building a rapport that will separate an applicant from electronic candidates. Be prepared with some guerilla marketing techniques to show teens what open spots are out there. The most motivated teens will find a way to read the message, no matter where it's posted.

2. Be prepared for discouragement; use variety. It's not uncommon for inexperienced teens to get turned down a few times. But chances are good that there are more than a few worthy employers in every town, so it's necessary for teens to cast a wide net. They aren't quite in the position to be too picky -- so it's important that they stay open-minded. Therefore, marketers need to stay open-minded as well. Understanding that teens may be trying something new for the first time might help to create the right messages.

3. Consider positions that cost money. Times are tough and even college grads are having more difficulty than ever finding full-time employment. Those who've experienced the workforce in high school and college, through internships and volunteer work, definitely standout from the crowd. If a teen can secure an internship for a small cost, he or she will be more than repaid in the future. Marketers need to prove that there's a huge benefit to an internship, even if teens have to pay for it.

So what if teens follow these steps and still can't catch a break? The last thing to do is discourage them from pursing an interest in the marketing and advertising field!

Driven teens will find a way to get involved with the industry during their free time. The ones that are really interested will stay up-to-date on the latest inventions. So in order to reach that group, marketers and advertisers should be reading up on them too! Here are two that will certainly be popular:

1. Google+: Also known as G+, Google Plus or Plus, is the biggest trending topic online these days. So, what is it and why should you care about it? It's a new social media site that is directly tied into the most widely-used search engine on the planet, with looming search engine optimization (SEO) implications. And don't worry -- its privacy settings are much more complex than those on Facebook, so teens are safe to play around.

2. Spotify: Spotify is a social music service that boasts over 15 million tracks and counting. It can be used on a PC, Mac, home audio system and cell phone. The music plays live so there's no wait for downloads and no space used on hard drives. A user is basically free to share everything with their friends. They can connect Spotify to Facebook to share music instantly. Because there's no cost up front, it's already being strongly received by teens and its unique business model will most likely keep it around for a while.

Even though the job market is in a rut, there are ways to keep motivated teens on track and prepare them for a future in the workforce. Teens that get in the habit of being persistent, involved, and up-to-date will definitely stay on track -- and marketers that know how to reach that group will see the best results! Marketers can definitely have a little fun and make teens work -- after all, the market is more competitive than ever.

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