Getting a head start on the summer job market

Ted Saddick offers an employment service to teens that few agencies can match. Mr. Saddick, the coordinator of cooperative career education at Conestoga High School here, placed 300 students in jobs in the past year.

In addition to developing jobs within the community for the 80 students in his career program, he operates a job bank and referral service for all Conestoga students. People who need yard work done, windows washed, dogs walked, or gardens weeded call Mr. Saddick. And his commitment to his students is such that long after graduation they stop back to tell him about their current careers or ask his advice.

After 14 years of career education, he knows the job market. To the 16 -and-over summer-job seeker he says:

* Getting a summer job requires ingenuity and initiative. Start looking early and tell everybody you know that you are in the market for a job. Approach your search confidently, realizing jobs do exist.

* Don't give up too early. If you can't find a job in the spring, keep looking in June and July. Go back to the places where you originally applied and check to see if your application is still active. You may have to fill out a second one, because many employers throw away applications after filling a job.

* Be persistent. It lets the employer know that you need work and you want to work for him.

* Check the help-wanted ads daily.

* Listen to everything the employer says in an interview and be prepared to ask questions such as ''What will I be doing?'' or ''Will you show me around?''

* Take your references with addresses and phone numbers to the interview, along with your social security number.

* Once you are hired, take initiative. Instead of sitting idle until you are told what to do, look for additional tasks.

It's a whole different situation for job seekers who are under 16, because the majority of company insurance policies exclude the underage worker. To the underage worker Mr. Saddick suggests:

* Go into business for yourself.

* Make up eye-catching flyers and distribute them in a three- to five-mile radius. Offer to babysit; do odd jobs; clean the garage, or gutters; paint; or weed and water gardens.

* Check with senior centers and retired senior volunteer programs. They have many jobs to be done, and often complain that they cannot find young people who want to work.

* Offer a unique service. Run birthday parties for busy mothers. Start a dog-walking service for two-career families.

* Set goals, follow through, and use common sense.

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