Today we’d like to introduce you to Shelby Reynolds and Marci Kawar.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Shelby and Marci. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Our story actually started 12 years ago when our daughters were in the same kindergarten class. Our daughters quickly bonded and Marci and I developed a friendship that has persevered over 12 years, playdates, soccer tournaments, and adolescents! When our kids became teenagers, it was time for them to start thinking about getting a job. Marci and I both worked as teenagers and thought it was important for our kids to have jobs also. Not only was it important because teenagers are expensive (gas money, food money, Starbucks money) but also because we both strongly feel that first jobs can teach kids valuable life lessons and skills that aren’t taught in a classroom.
However, we quickly realized that our kids didn’t have the slightest idea of how or where to start looking for a job. The look of bewilderment on my daughter’s face when I asked her how she was going to get a job was priceless (and somewhat concerning, to be honest)! I could see all the thoughts frantically running through her head, “Who’s going to hire me? How do I make a resume when I have no experience? What if the interviewer asks me questions I can’t answer? And it wasn’t just a problem for her, her friends were struggling too.
After looking online for resources to help, we realized that there was an abundance of resources aimed at college graduates and adults but very little geared specifically towards teenagers who had little or no experience. We knew there had to be an easier and better way! We collaborated one night at dinner and decided to develop a website for teens (ages 14- 17) that would provide them with all the information, tools and resources that they would need to land their first job. We developed Teen Job Prep over a six month period, learning as we went along (a true trial-by-fire experience) and launched the website this past August.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, it definitely has not been a smooth road. It’s been a huge learning curve! Neither Marci or I knew anything about building a website. We had the knowledge to create the content; Marci has a background as an educator and in creating programs for teens and I have a background in human resources and recruiting…but we had no clue of what it would take to build a website. We hired a company in Siberia (yes, literally Siberia) to help us and that came along with its own challenges; like scheduling meetings with people on the other side of the world (lots of early morning and late-night discussions) and the language barrier (both the Russian language and the IT language!).
We’ve also been learning about all the various marketing channels and what it takes to successfully market an online business, which is way more challenging than we imagined! But its all worth it as we get to see our vision become a reality. Everything in life is a learning opportunity and we are definitely learning a lot!
Please tell us about your work. What do you guys do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
Teen Job Prep is a website that is a one-stop-shop resource for teens. It provides valuable information and tools to teens who are ready to begin their job journey. Our goal is to make getting a job fun by taking the mystery and anxiety out of the job search process. What sets us apart from others is that we are “teen-focused.” Our passion and desires are to help teens build confidence and to give them the tools they need to be successful in their job search.
We have developed a custom resume builder designed specifically for teens with little or no experience. Our custom wizard walks the teens, step by step, through questions that emphasize; relevant coursework, community service, extracurricular activities, and special interests or hobbies. The teens just fill in the blanks and select one of our design templates, and in as little as ten minutes they’ll have a professional-looking resume they can be proud of! Teens can create and download as many resumes as they want in a 30 day time period. It’s amazing how much confidence it instills when they see their finished resume and realize that they do have value to offer to an employer!
What we are most proud of is probably our fun and engaging video series. We have created five, short, animated videos with teen’s interests and attention span in mind. These are not your standard, boring instructional videos! The teens follow our animated, 15-year-old character, Jack, through his whole job journey. They go along with Jack as he learns how to look for a job, how to apply for a job, and they even get to go along on Jack’s first job interview. They’ll learn how to respond to questions, what questions to ask and proper interview etiquette. Our last video shows teens how to keep their hard-earned job! Watching Jack on his job journey will prepare others to successfully navigate their own job journey.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We are really excited about the future! We have new ideas for our website and ideas for expansion all the time! We are constantly having to “reign it in” and focus on building and marketing what we currently have. We would like to expand to reach a larger, international teen audience. So making our resources available in different languages would be exciting. We also have plans for taking the next step and connecting teens with employers, so that is something that is definitely on the horizon as well. For the moment though, we are focusing on spreading the word about Teen Job Prep and helping as many teens as possible prepare for success!
- Teen Resume Builder: $5.99 Create and download as many resumes as you want!
- Video Training for Teens: $19.99
- Combo (Resume Builder+ Video training) $22.99
- Website: www.teenjobprep.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teenjobprep/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teenjobprep/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/teenjobprep
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/company/teenjobprep/