Is your teen thinking about getting a summer job this year? Not only will a job allow your teen to earn and save money for the future, it’s also a fabulous way for them to gain some independence and learn some career skills.

Before your teen starts creating a resume and pounding the pavement, make sure they’ve acquired the skills they need to find and keep that summer job. Here are some important skills that employers want to see in their new hire.

5 Skills Every Teen Needs Before Starting a Summer Job

A Solid Work Ethic

Employers are always looking for workers that demonstrate a strong work ethic, but what exactly does that mean?

A work ethic refers to both your attitude and your behavior. Having a solid work ethic is demonstrated by the ability to work by a set of strong moral principles.

A teen who is willing to work hard and can demonstrate honesty, integrity, and accountability will go a long way at work and in life.


Showing initiative means going the extra mile to be proactive in your work. It means doing more than what is expected, sharing ideas, and being prepared for the day.

Parents can help teens develop these skills at home by encouraging them to learn independently and giving them a say in the direction of their education.

Good Communication Skills

Communication skills are important in every facet of life – school, work, and relationships.

Encourage your teen to ask questions if they need something clarified, and to listen attentively when someone else is talking.

At work, it will be important for your teen to give and receive feedback, and be confident in their interactions with their employer and their co-workers. Good communication skills are critical to making a good first impression and will help your teen get hired, be promoted, and find success.

Customer Service Skills

Customer service skills go hand-in-hand with good communication skills. Employees who work with the public should be friendly and welcoming.

They should make eye contact, offer assistance, and listen attentively. The best way for teens to develop customer service skills before landing a job is to practice. Encourage them to volunteer at a local nonprofit or their church so they can develop important people skills.

Problem-Solving skills

Today’s employers are hunting for workers who have the ability to tackle problems head-on.

While it’s true that some people have a natural talent for solving problems, there are also strategies that will make your teens better problem solvers.

Encourage them to work through problems systematically. They should first accurately identify the problem, develop several solutions, and then test the solutions to find the one that works best. Encourage your teens to figure things out on their own whenever possible.

Stay focused on preparing your teens for adulthood. Yes, these skills will impress employers, but they will also encourage your teens to become successful and mature adults.

Get Becky’s Weekly Newsletter on Homeschooling High School

We will never sell or share your email address.