LONGMONT -- Even at the annual youth job fair, it's tough for a 15-year-old to find a job.
Lois Strope and Nicholas Sellers, both Skyline High School students, were a little disappointed Thursday after seeing that they weren't old enough for most of the summer jobs available at the "Show Me the Money" job and career fair, sponsored by the St. Vrain Valley School District and Workforce Boulder County.
A steady stream of teens visited the fair, which featured mock interviews, employers looking for summer help, and information on careers as varied as electrical, military and financial services.
Although fewer companies offering career information participated this year, more employers were involved, said organizer Niki Brady of the St. Vrain Valley School District.
Student attendance was high, however, with 615 students registering, she said afterward. She estimated total attendance was probably more than 700.
Still, the choices were limited for the younger teens.
"There isn't a lot of selection for 15-year-olds," Sellers said.
Strope isn't interested in working an outdoor recreation job, such as lifeguard, she said.
Her older sister, Charlotte Strope, didn't find anything that sparked her interest, either.
Although Charlotte Strope likes to cook and bake, she doesn't want to work in fast food, and at 17, she's not old enough to work at Panera, she said.
Employers at the job fair seemed far more pleased, however.
Mike Del Pizzo, kitchen manager at Country Buffet, is hiring 16- to 21-year-olds for cashier, line server and dishwasher positions, he said. Two hours into the three-hour event, he had handed out about 250 applications and received at least 40 back, he said.
Teens don't need experience to work at Country Buffet, he said. Instead, he's looking for someone with a positive attitude who is friendly, outgoing and eager to work.
"We're always trying to make the team better," Del Pizzo said.
One booth over, Jimmy John's general manager Ed Kenney said he will be hiring this spring for summer help. The jobs -- which include making sandwiches, running the cash register and cleaning -- offer flexible hours so kids can "still have summer fun and make a few bucks," he said.
Although he was not taking applications, Kenney had suggestions for teens looking for a job: Come prepared. That means bring a pen and a list of references with you when you apply for a job.
"That shows me a lot, that you are serious," Kenney said.