Job hunting tips for teens

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Job hunting tips for teens


Thursday 19 March 2015

Getting their first part time job is an important rite of passage for many teens but knowing where to start can be challenging. Should you apply online or in person? What do you put in a resume when you’ve never had a job before? Is it necessary to dress to impress? We’ll answer these questions and more in this collection of tips for job hunting teens.

Top tips for job hunting

Knowing where to look is half the battle.

Larger companies (like supermarkets are other retailers) will often advertise on job seeker websites like or You can also try looking in the career section on their corporate website. Tip: the careers link is usually in the website footer.

Smaller, privately owned companies may not have the resources for online job advertising. The tried and tested approach of walking in with a smile and a resume can be effective here.
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Let your friends and family know your teen is looking for work and get them to spread the word. Encourage your teen to ask their friends who have jobs to recommend them.

Also, don’t forget community noticeboards (often outside supermarkets) or in shopping centres or user-driven websites like

Resume readiness

Most employers will want to see a resume but when you’re looking for your first job how do you fill a resume? Remember that not all previous work experience listed in a resume needs to be paid work. Has your teen done work experience through school? Are they in any extracurricular clubs or societies? Do they play on a sports team? Have they done any volunteer work? All of these things demonstrate time management skills and show they can handle a regular commitment.

Also, be sure to include names and number of references. Employers won’t call references without asking first but providing them up front shows you’re prepared. You might also consider including a written reference or recommendation from a teacher, coach or previous employer.

First impressions last

Get a work friendly email address. While your teen might think their email address is hilarious, potential employers might not feel the same way. If they have an email account through school encourage them to use that when sending resumes. Alternatively, they could create a new one.
Make sure your teen is ready to hear ‘no’ and doesn’t get discouraged too easily. If they approach a business and they aren’t hiring at the moment make sure they ask to leave a copy of their resume. If they have an interview but don’t get the job encourage them to seek feedback from the employer about what they can improve.

Don’t do the talking for them. As hard as it can be, make sure it’s your teen doing the talking and not you. Confidence is key to finding a job and nothing says ‘lack of confidence’ like hiding behind Mum or Dad.

When they do get an interview encourage them to learn more about the company. There’s a good chance they’ll be asked why they want to work for that company and it’s best to have a response other than “because I need a job”.

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