To encourage parents to be involved in their teenagers job applications?!

(122 Posts)
sirmione16 Thu 16-Jan-20 17:03:35

I'm hiring for a part time weekend staff, ideal for a young person. However in the past week I've had multiple CVs with embarrassing opening paragraphs, awful spelling and grammar, people not answering the phone then texting "who is this" when they applied the day before (I use a work mobile and leave a message) Now, I've just had a girl reply that she can't do a phone interview because she has anxiety but would like a trial shift opportunity. When I replied very politely thanking her for her application and for being honest, and that anxiety would not be an issue in some positions however the role wouldn't suit her if she finds a telephone interview hard - her literal reply was "wow OK, that'll teach me for being honest with anyone" that's the whole email. I'm godsmacked. Fortunately I have had some successful interviews and trials, but this attitude is awful - aren't schools teaching CV writing any more? Aren't parents guiding teenagers on professionalism and conduct?! What is going on?!

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ReallyLilyReally Thu 16-Jan-20 17:53:34

Im not sure it's legal for you to dismiss someone from the interview process due to a mental health issue, i think that's technically discrimination.

Also, i think applying for jobs is a learning curve and definitely doesn't need parental input as a teen. Just don't hire the ones with bad CVs.

Similarly, i think its actually very normal to not answer the phone if you don't recognise the number, and to text instead. I do this and im 27.

PortiaCastis Thu 16-Jan-20 17:57:06

Are you godsmacked or gobsmacked
I don't answer my phone if my screen says unknown number either

sirmione16 Thu 16-Jan-20 17:59:33

Please me make it clear I am not and have not dismissed her due to a mental health issue, I have dismissed her due to the fact the role is a fast paced, customer facing role in which she will have to build rapport with strangers and be forthcoming, chatty and confident. Based on that and the fact she felt uncomfortable to do a phone interview, the position would not be right for her. Anxiety or not, if someone is not right for the role, they're not right. I've just saved her the trouble of a trial shift that would've been difficult for her and ultimately could knock her confidence. It's her reply I have issue with.

OP’s posts: |
virginpinkmartini Thu 16-Jan-20 18:00:21

@ReallyLilyReally is it though? I would imagine it depends on the role. If it was for a customer representative/ sales job, then no. Someone who won't do a simple telephone interview isn't suitable for the job and there would be no way to accommodate that within reason. Much like a blind person wouldnt be very good at appraising jewellery.

sirmione16 Thu 16-Jan-20 18:00:47

People wouldn't answer their phones from a number when they've been applying for jobs?! And I left a voicemail detailing who I was and that I was calling in regard to position at such a company?!

OP’s posts: |
sirmione16 Thu 16-Jan-20 18:03:27

And yes, my typo is obviously meant to be gobsmacked smile

OP’s posts: |


Pipandmum Thu 16-Jan-20 18:05:06

I think it's a good idea to proofread a childs application. I helped my son with his CV because he did not have a clue and wrote a very conversational one.
As for answering an unknown number- if you've applied for a job and given them your number how else do you expect potential employers to get in touch?
Applying for jobs should be covered under the personal development part of school.
However I cant tell you how many jobs I've applied for and get no acknowledgement whatsoever, and my daughter has just tried to volunteer at a local charity (which has a big sign out fron t asking for volunteers) and after having her fill in lots of forms have just emailed her several times that 'we haven't forgotten you we'll be in touch'. Last one was over a month ago - she's very disappointed and is now volunteering somewhere else.

OneMoreLight Thu 16-Jan-20 18:09:57

If I don't know a number then I don't answer. I'll Google it once they've hung up or listen to the voicemail and ring back if appropriate.

Christmastree43 Thu 16-Jan-20 18:11:03

I think it is true that a lot of teenagers really lack workplace skills (obviously - they haven't had chance to develop them yet) and also that a lot of jobs that you think would be ideal for teenagers arent at all what teenagers themselves want (long/ anti social hours - not good for social lives, hard work etc).

When I was doing my masters I worked behind a bar in a country pub and they struggled so badly for reliable staff. The majority of teens who came in for trial shifts were useless - both with social skills and common sense/ work skills - but sometimes they got the job as the kind of jobs that teenagers can do, no one else wants either (again crap hours, crap pay, boring and repetitive).

I think you're right in some ways about the role of parents. In my experience (not just in the pub, now that I work with a lot of people who have teens) the teens that get jobs and get a lot out of them (experience for the CV and UCAS statement, personal development etc) were the very involved parents who were involved in getting the job and helping their teen to keep it.

But I think what you're seeing is that a lot of teens really only half want a job so only half arse their applications!

virginpinkmartini Thu 16-Jan-20 18:11:21

I was on my way out of work today, and saw a woman speaking to the receptionist on behalf of her daughter, enquiring about job vacancies. She had what seemed to be a CV in her hand. I'm sorry but if I was the person responsible for hiring, then it would automatically be a 'no', purely because said daughter didn't have the initiative to speak to the business herself and needed mummy to do it. Either that or the mum is overbearing and needs to cut the cord. It just doesn't look good at all.
Some of the outfits I've seen teens come in, usually jeans and trainers. Bewildering. Can't even be arsed to wear a simple shirt and black trousers. It doesn't matter if you're going for an interview in McDonald's, you should show a tiny bit of reverence (and common sense) and dress like you didn't just roll out of bed.

GiveHerHellFromUs Thu 16-Jan-20 18:12:00

My dad recently asked me for help with a job application because it's been such a long time since he's written an application or a CV.

I've been working since I was 16 and never asked for help with an application because I'm fairly competent.

If people are rude it makes your shortlist easier, doesn't it?

Many young people will be parents in 10 years time. Do you really want that girl advising the youngsters you'll be hoping to recruit in 20 years, if she's unemployable herself?

Christmastree43 Thu 16-Jan-20 18:12:44

Also when I've been applying for jobs, or sending out enquiries for e.g. builders etc, I answer the phone to unknown numbers.

If I'm not expecting anything yes I will google and ring back.

Ylvamoon Thu 16-Jan-20 18:14:21

I agree with you OP - I have recently interviewed 3 school leavers for a great entry level position ... nothing complicated required other than good written & spoken English mixed with common sense.
Well, where do I start? Firstly, sell yourself! Know about the company!! And know the job title!!! I actually felt I needed to ask what an X administrator is just to make sure they know what the job entails - I got everything from blank stare to garbage as an answer.

PS: I don't think it's discrimination if a candidate refused an phone interview because of anxiety IF a) it was made clear in the job advert & b) if the job involves answering the phone.

GreenTulips Thu 16-Jan-20 18:15:14

Applying for jobs should be covered under the personal development part of school

Or you know parents could actually teach their kids.

MyDcAreMarvel Thu 16-Jan-20 18:19:04

You are being unfair op , my dd can’t use the telephone due to auditory processing disorder, however she is a manager in a customer facing role.

Christmastree43 Thu 16-Jan-20 18:21:15

See @virginpinkmartini that pushy mum might get her reticent teen in the door, she'll then have that on her CV and be leagues ahead of her peers in terms of experience, development etc.

Also among my family and friends it's quite common for friends and family to get (probably unemployable to a third party smile) teens a job in a family business - my first job was at an uncle's shop as a Saturday girl, my sister started as a Saturday girl in my mum's friend's hairdressers, my cousins all started at a family friend's factory in the summer holidays etc. Not saying it's right or fair, I know it's not, but parents involvement at this stage can give kids a huge leg up later on.

Changeembrace Thu 16-Jan-20 18:25:39

I agree OP

BUT in a strictly legal sense, you did discriminate against her.

GeePipe Thu 16-Jan-20 18:30:42

I agree op teens need lessons in appropriate professional behaviour nowadays. I dont answer calls i dont know but i google after and reply asap when i listen to voicemail. But thats because jobs i apply to can take 2 or 3 weeks to reply if they do at all. I wrote my brothers cv and cover letter for him. He is 17 but he wanted to make it the best it could be given hes never had a job.

BorneoBabe Thu 16-Jan-20 18:37:50

YANBU. Most of us managed to sound polite and respectful when we were 16.

virginpinkmartini Thu 16-Jan-20 18:48:09

@Christmastree43 Oh I'm not denying having work experience is advantageous to the individual.

But it does speak volumes about the reliability and initiative about the worker if they aren't willing to put the legwork in, even at the beginning of the application process when you should be your most eager to impress. When I was 14 I was walking round everywhere in my town with CVs, dressed smartly. Some kids can't be arsed to even do a spellcheck on a cover letter (if they even include one.)
I would see it as a warning sign. If I hire you, will you dress appropriately for the role? Would you sleep in and rely on your parents to drive you in? Would you turn your phone off and no-show, and pretend you didn't know you were meant to be working? As for parents proof-reading their kids applications... Why? So that the company can get a great sense of the word-smithery of the parents of the teen they are looking to hire? We should be moulding young people into people who are actually competent, reliable adults with strong work ethics rather than just looking good on a CV they didn't even write.

GeePipe Thu 16-Jan-20 18:48:18

A few other points others have made more eloquently than me but stand out as true.
One im 28. When i was at school we all HAD to do work experience where we had to write cover letters and apply ourselves as part of school work. We also knew to dress smartly.

I went for an interview at a dentist once. (Was pointless the company didnt know their arse from their elbow). Anyway this was a year ago. I dressed in a smart dress and tights with a smart cardi on. The other 2 girls (aged about 18-20) showed up in leggings, skinny jeans and trainers.

GeePipe Thu 16-Jan-20 18:51:23

virginpinkmartini i disagree with you about the cv thing. Why shouldnt parents proof read it and help them out? Getting help shows initiative and willing to make something better by any means necessary. After all published authors all have their work proof read and edited before they are published. Ditto big business corporations all have proof readers and editors for their work so why would a cv be any different? That and businesses literally exist to make sure peoples cvs are as good as can be and thats for all ages not just teenagers.

GiveHerHellFromUs Thu 16-Jan-20 18:52:51

@GeePipe how's he going to go about updating his CV if you did it for him rather than teaching him how?

GeePipe Thu 16-Jan-20 18:58:34

Who says he wasnt there when i did it? He was. He can also read and analyse how the cv is laid out.

Cvs are pretty standard unless you are into some niche industry. They are super easy to update once initially laid out.

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