"There are still a lot of employers needing to fill a lot of openings," he says. "A lot of high schoolers are not going to be getting out of school until the second week of June. Once they get into the market, jobs get sopped up quickly." He adds that because many businesses have employees who take vacations in the summer, temporary help is always needed.
In addition to the usual suspects such as malls and movie theaters, there are a number of "undiscovered" opportunities that pay well and need high school help, he says. For example, there are plenty of merchandising positions available.
"You make sure the shelves are stocked correctly at 7-Eleven or Target. You work for third-party companies, so you end up floating around a lot. These companies, such as Regis or WIS International, contract with retailers."
"Product demonstration is another one," says Boyer. "In most cases you're either on the street or in a retail environment where you're letting people taste the newest flavor of Mountain Dew or hot dogs. They're pretty cool jobs."
Other jobs that students don't normally think of include bank teller positions ("Most banks will hire 18-plus, but a fair number will hire 16 plus" says Boyer) and administrative assistant jobs. ("A lot of companies will hire students as Internet researchers.")
Whatever you do, cast a wide net, adds Boyer. Don't just go to the mall and apply at outlets there — search on the Internet, talk to your parents and their friends, your guidance counselor, and check newspaper listings.
"Let people know that you're looking for employment for the summer — say, 'Ideally I'd like this type of job, but I'm not limiting myself to that.'"
By Marshall Loeb