5 Job Hunting Tips for Teens

Posted on June 10, 2014 at 6:00 am

by Kelsey H.

Sometimes hunting for a job can feel like the Hunger Games; many tributes go into the arena, but only one will emerge the victor. So maybe it’s not that dramatic, but there are a few things you can do to give yourself an advantage over everyone else.

  1. Do your homework: Before you start applying anywhere, make sure you’ve thought of what you’d like to do, how many hours you can work, how a job might interfere with your school work or activities, and if your parents/guardians approve of the decision. You should also know what restrictions Washington law has on workers under the age of 18.
  2. Keep an open mind: Don’t disregard something just because it doesn’t sound perfect; it could surprise you or lead to something better down the road. Look for positions based on your interests, but remember that your first job might not be the job of your dreams. It will be a good place to get professional work experience and to find out what you do or don’t like to do.
  3. Dig into all your options: Job postings appear in many different places so check online, with your school, and directly with companies you’d like to work for. You can also start calling your family, friends, coaches, neighbors, and more. Some might be hiring, or know someone who is. The more people you talk to, the more likely you are to find a position. This is also a good opportunity to ask coaches, teachers, or past employers to be references for you.
  4. Be prepared: Get a clear and focused resume ready, and don’t forget to include things like volunteer work or babysitting. Gather all the information you’ll need to fill out an application, such as your contact information, social security number, and school information, before starting an application. You want it to be complete, easy to read, and free of any spelling errors (it’s a good idea to have someone else proof read your applications). And you always want to make a good impression, so make sure and dress your best whenever you go to possible employers, even if it’s just to pick up an application.
  5. Keep going: You won’t always get the first job you apply for, so keep applying. Relax, regroup, and give it another shot!

All of the SCLD libraries offer resume writing software and resources such as JobNow to help with your job hunt as well. And don’t forget to check out Spokane’s Next Generation Zone, a great resource for exploring possible careers, gaining new skills, and finding local jobs!

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