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Make That Money: First-time Jobs for Teens

Trying to land a job? Here’s some tips for teens entering the job market!

It happens to all of us eventually…you gotta get a job. You might be helping out your family with bills or maybe just working to have a little extra cash in your pocket. No matter what the reason, we’re all going to be faced with the same daunting task of finding that first job. But don’t let it stress you out too much – we’ve got some tricks to make sure that you’re the first one that gets offered the job.

  • Get your resume ready. “What exactly is a resume and why do I need one?” you might be asking. A resume is simply an overview of your work experience. But this is your first job so you don’t have a work history, right? Not so fast! Have you ever been a babysitter or done some yard work around the neighborhood? Put it on there! Are you involved in volunteer work or clubs and activities at school? Put it on there! Just because you haven’t had a job before doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show off your other accomplishments. You’ll stick out to employers if you’re the only applicant who took the time to submit a resume for the job. Just be sure to spell check it and make a good first impression.
  • Make a list of places to apply. You can always look at job postings online, but don’t forget all of the resources that surround you. Do you have a friend that works somewhere they have an opening? Maybe your family or neighbor knows of a job you’d be able to apply for. Keep your eyes peeled for “Help Wanted” signs around town and don’t be afraid to just ask around – some of the best jobs around might be right under your nose.
  • Be prepared for rejection. We don’t always get that dream job and it’s important to be ready to hear “no” as a first-time job applicant. While it might sting a bit, don’t let it get you down! When one door closes, another door opens.
  • Preparing for the interview. You heard back from a potential employer and now they want you to come in for an interview. What’s next? First off – don’t panic! Job interviews can be intimidating, but you got this! Make sure that you know about what the company does, what the job entails, and practice some common interview questions. Practice makes perfect, so try to practice interviewing with some friends, family, or even in front of the mirror.
  • Dress for success. No matter the job, employers pay attention to what you’re wearing. You don’t need to dress up like you’re going to a wedding, but make sure that you look presentable. Try to wear neat and tidy clothes – avoiding shorts, dirty shoes or flip flops, and no hats – and make sure to put your phone on silent!
  • Be confident. You look the part, so act like it! Keep your head up and maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Speak clearly and answer the interviewer’s questions as best as you can. Show that you’re eager to work and communicate that clearly.
  • Follow up no matter what. Sometimes jobs might not hire you on the spot, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t get the position. Make sure to get in touch with the interviewer a few days after the initial interview and thank them for their time. You might be surprised about how such a small gesture can make a huge impact on your chances of getting the job.


Everyone starts at square one when they enter the workforce. We all have to apply and interview and we definitely all get stressed out. Follow these tips and you’ll have a head-start on finding the right job for you. Good luck!

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