What to Know About Getting Your First Job

If you’re a teen interested in getting your first job, there are a lot of benefits of doing so. You can gain freedom and independence, meet new people, and start saving for things that are important to you.

With that being said, the economy is still fragile following the health situation, so you may have to look a little harder to find a part-time job suitable for someone your age.

The following are some things to know about getting your first job.


One of the most important things employers are going to want to know is that you have reliable transportation. That’s a big concern for employers when they’re hiring a teen.

Whether you’re going to ride your bike to work or you have someone who can take you, make it clear that you’re good with transportation. Of course, if you do decide to ride your bike, give yourself plenty of time to make it to your shift so you can be safe and avoid being in an accident.

If you can’t commit to having reliable transportation on your own, maybe take a look at public transportation options where you live.

Put Together a Brief Resume

Even though you’re looking for a teen-friendly part-time job, you still want to have at least a brief resume to show employers. Although you might not have much to put on it, it will show that you’re professional and truly interested in finding work as well as taking the initiative.

Some of the things to put on a resume if you’re looking for your first job can include activities you’ve done in school, leadership positions you’ve had, or volunteer work you’ve done. You can get creative here, and that’s okay. Employers understand if you don’t have any actual job experience.

A good way to shine when you have a fairly empty resume is to create a great cover letter. Let your personality shine but keep it brief and to the point. Many employers will probably be impressed that you did a cover letter at all.

A cover letter gives you a good chance to make yourself distinct from other candidates.

Tap Into Your Personal Connections

Before you start applying to jobs online, you might want to ask around and see if anyone you know needs help or knows someone who does.

For example, maybe you can talk to friends of your parents, or parents of your friends. If you go to church or are involved in any groups or organizations, ask around.

You never know what you might be able to find this way.

Find Something You Enjoy

Your first job isn’t going to be your dream job, and it may be something that’s not always pleasant, but overall if you can find something you enjoy doing, then that’s going to motivate you to go to work.

If it’s something you have an interest in, or perhaps even indirectly is related to what you might study in college, even better.

Manage Your Expectations

While finding something you enjoy can be a good thing, it’s not always going to happen.

In general, when you’re looking for your first job, you want to manage your expectations. It’s unlikely your job will be glamorous, and you’re probably going to make minimum wage. If you go into the search for your first job with expectations that are too high, you’re likely going to be disappointed.

Along with managing your expectations about what type of work you might be offered, you should also be ready for rejection.

You’ll probably be turned down for at least several jobs before you find one, and it’s not something you should take personally.

Keep a positive attitude, and don’t get nasty if someone tells you that you didn’t get the job.

Prepare for Your Interview

A lot of employers might expect teen job candidates to not take things seriously, and one way you can show that you’re mature, responsible, and confident is to convey those things during your interview.

You should know at least a bit about the position you’re applying for and the company itself. Make sure that you’re on time or even a few minutes early for your interview, and dress appropriately.

Show confidence without coming off as being too cocky.

To show confidence, you should keep your head up and make sure you maintain eye contact.

Finally, after you go to an interview, if you haven’t heard anything yet, follow up with the employer. Employers tend to like someone who follows up.


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