SIKESTON -- Searching for the ideal summer job doesn't have to be a dreaded and drawn-out process -- especially if job seekers start now.
"It's never too early to look for a job and be out there as they become needed," said Mike Seabaugh, regional manager for Division of Workforce Development-Missouri Career Center in Sikeston.
Plus, it seems jobs are available for teenagers and up.
Debbie Glenn, branch manager at Manpower Inc. in Sikeston, said she thinks the employment services company is busier this year compared to last.
"We do have a lot of companies with job openings for those who are 18 or older," Glenn said. "We're seeing a lot of industrial and office (temporary/
summer) jobs. Also if they're graduating from college, we do a lot of direct hire and help them find positions."
U.S. employers show no signs of changing their healthy hiring pace from April through June, according to the seasonally adjusted results of the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, conducted quarterly by Manpower Inc. Sectors where employers plan little change include construction, durable and non-durable goods manufacturing, transportation/public utilities, wholesale/retail trade, finance/insurance, real estate and services.
Dinelle Enos, store manager of Dress Barn at Sikeston Factory Outlet Stores, said she is the search for summer employees right now.
"The last thing we want is to be caught short-handed in our peak season because we want to give the best customer service possible," Enos said. The "spring peak" for clothing retailers is affected by when Easter falls, Enos said.
"This is our busiest selling season, and we're busy through July," Enos said. Like Enos other employers are also going through the process of hiring summer employees.
"We're always looking for employees and accepting applications," Enos said. "And we keep a file and make notations when they come in and apply."
It takes a couple weeks, at least, to search out an applicant and then interview them, Enos said.
"We participate in a success profile, which is like an aptitude test. Then we get an idea of their weaknesses and strengths," Enos said.
One trait employers tend to look for in employees is open availability, Enos said. Since Enos hires sales associates, which must be at least 18 years old, she looks for individuals who can successfully demonstrate multiple tasks -- from unpacking freight and steaming merchandise to greeting and servicing customers. Plus it also helps to have an eye for fashion, she said. Most job seekers will check with their local career center periodically to see what's available and many will use Missouri's online search engine: www.greathires.org, Seabaugh said.
"A lot of jobs are posted by employers there," Seabaugh said about the Web site. "When they post their jobs, they put their expectations for skills, education and experience. When a job seeker registers, the system matches individuals' entries with the employers' entries and makes a referral based on that."
Employment services often assist job seekers with resume and interview preparation as well as determine what kinds of jobs an individual is suited for, Seabaugh said.
"Resume preparation is extremely important, and the format of resumes have changed considerably. They are much more brief and specific about job experience and work experience.
It's real important to have work history in line and have a resume completed, Glenn said. And applicants should dress the part, be professional and have a good resume, she said.
"Interview preparation is always important and that's where the first impression and self-marketing come into play," Seabaugh said.
Potential employees should be aware of other job requirements.
"These days more employers are requesting drug screens, physicals and background checks," Glenn said.
While most jobs require employees be 18 or older, Glenn said there are plenty of jobs out there for the younger teens.
"If you're under 18, go to fast food, clothing stores or restaurants -- and those are good opportunities to start job career," Glenn said. "Anything that will be work history will help -- and it will also increase your job skills."