The first step in finding a job is to ask some questions. What are your abilities? Are you computer literate? Are you physically strong? What are your interests? The chances of succeeding in your job search and ultimate employment increase if you like what you are doing.
You probably already have skills that you don’t know about. Do you babysit, help your parents with organization, work around the house, take computer classes, volunteer in the community, or lead in after school sports, plays or activities? These tasks have given you employable skills like teamwork that you can mention to an interviewer.
You have decided it is time to work! Tell you parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, neighbors, friends, teachers, and guidance counselor. Announce your intentions on social media. 73% of employers have used social media to fill a position.
Four Ways to Find an Opportunity
The first way is to go directly to a business and ask for an application. A good tip is to look for companies with fewer than 50 employees. They hire teens the most. Another way, and perhaps the best way, is to be referred by someone who already works there. The third way is to apply online. Finally, there are county and state programs that help place teenagers into summer and part time jobs.
There may be instances when you have to fill out an application with a pen. In this case, it goes without saying that you should be neat and careful. Be able to check your spelling with an online dictionary or with a dictionary book. Fill out all lines and answers. Be accurate with dates, telephone numbers and addresses. If you are filling out an application at the business, bring all of your information with you, which has been proofread for grammar and accuracy. **See the images below of a sample application. Use this reference to prepare!
Please note that if you do go directly to a business to apply, they might still ask you to apply online. If you do not have a computer, free Internet access is available at public libraries and local job centers. When you go to one of these public access computers, bring a flash drive so that you can save your resume. You can also use Google Docs for their word processor and to save your files there. When you need your file, you can export it from Google Docs as a PDF. Have an email address already set up before you fill out applications. You can obtain one from Google Gmail or Yahoo Mail. Use a professional address such as your name or initials.
Most online applications will ask for your resume. You can attach a file of your resume or copy and paste the entire resume into the application. Another option is to enter your work history manually, one field at a time.
- Don’t wear a t-shirt. If you want to be casual, but neat, wear a polo or button down top.
- If you do wear jeans, make sure they look new.
- Don’t wear a cap.
- Go alone!
- Leave your problems at home.
- Bring a resume with you. It should have your contact information, names, addresses and dates of places where you have worked, the name of your school and years attended and graduating, and names and phone numbers of people who will recommend you.
- Bring your social security card, working papers and driver’s license in case you are hired on the spot.
- Send a thank you letter to the interviewer and reiterate that you are still interested.
It is not easy to find a job for teens. However, everyday people quit, get fired or retire. The job market is ever changing. Be patient; your job will come to you eventually. Also remember that you may have to take a job that is not your dream position. This is acceptable because all jobs are opportunities to gain experience and step up to a better career. Most people have over seven jobs in their lifetime. No matter the job title, it is one step on the path to obtaining the life that you want.