Tips for teenagers looking for their first job

CC0 Creative Commons (c) Pixabay

CC0 Creative Commons (c) Pixabay - Credit: Archant

Whether you are a teenager ready to take this first step towards the life of a working person, or a parent keen on helping your child prepare for their first job, here are some useful tips.

CC0 Creative Commons (c) Pixabay

CC0 Creative Commons (c) Pixabay - Credit: Archant

Your teenage years are an extremely unique time- both in the positive and the negative sense. A lot of changes occur as you inch your way closer to independence and adulthood and part of this includes an increasing number of responsibilities as you begin to take control of your own time, finances and future. One of the first big steps into this world of becoming an adult is getting your first job- something that can be exciting and daunting in equal measures.


Be Prepared

When you go into anything new, you must do your research. The Internet can provide you with much of what you need to know to gain employment in a particular job- though of course some advice online must be taken with a pinch of salt. This is also the first place to go to do research into the types of jobs you might be interested in to begin with. Teens these days are always on their phones, and there are resources that can help you in your search from the get go. One of these options is to use a job seeking application like the Jobrapido app that can allow teens to search for jobs on the go. Or use on of the many apps out there, which provide practice interview questions for when you’ve managed to secure your first meeting.


Start Writing

For any young adult the task of writing a CV might be confusing and first, and just plain overwhelming. Thankfully there are so many examples out there to use as references, along with templates, which you can simply fill out with your own details. You want to make sure you stand out in the crowd of competitors and you need to present yourself in the best light before you even get the interview. This is why it is important to make sure that the format of your CV is right, and that the details that you include are relevant to job seeking. Of course employment history may be little to none when seeking your first job- this is where any volunteering or extra-curricular activities will come into use. Without employment history it is also more important than ever to sell yourself in the ‘about me’ section, and your cover letter, where you can really show your personality and positive attributes.


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Dress For Success

Have you ever heard the phrase “dress for the job you want to have” Well, this is just what you should do when you are going into the workforce. You absolutely must have a presentation that screams “employable” upon meeting your future boss meaning your clothes have to reflect the characteristics an employer wants to see- tidiness, smart, well planned and professional. You should plan what you are going to wear before the interview and you should make sure it is appropriate and mildly conservative (you never know who your boss might be). This contributes the most to your first impression as a candidate and first impressions are everything.

CC0 Creative Commons (c) Wikimedia

CC0 Creative Commons (c) Wikimedia - Credit: Archant


The Interview

Now that your wardrobe is ready, it is time to head out to your very first interview. You’re nervous and that is normal, but there are some things that you can do to ease the anxiety a little. You should know before you leave the house why you want this job. You should be able to talk to anyone on the street about why it is important to you. You need to make sure you practice this, along with some other potential questions that your future employer is likely to ask at the interview. Do your research on the company before you go, as it makes a very good impression if you can show that you have done some preparation. Think of a question or two that you may want to ask them, or perhaps if you can’t think of anything ask if you can email them with a question should you think of something once you’ve left. Of course it’s normal to be nervous, the interviewers will understand, so as long as you speak clearly and try to be upbeat and interested a few jitters shouldn’t count against you.


It is so important for teenagers to dip their toes into the waters of employment, however it is also extremely important for them to maintain a balance between full time school and a job. Managing these responsibilities is a huge skill that will come in handy in the long run but it can be easy to become overwhelmed particularly during exam periods. Employers are restricted by law regarding the number of hours a full time student is allowed to work- so be sure to know your rights and don’t allow yourself to be take advantage of if it means your studies are going to suffer.