Finding Your First Part-Time Job: Tips For Teens

Do you have a job? Do you want one? If so, this blog post is for you! I'll be giving tips on how to find your first part-time job. You need to get the ball rolling now before everything gets crazy. The sooner you start looking, the better your chance of finding something great! Let's get started…

first part time for students in school
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How To Get Your First Part-Time Job With No Experience

When you're a teenager, looking for your first job can seem impossible. After all, you've never had a job before. You might feel as if no one will hire you for this very reason. The good news is that there are many different ways to find a part-time job.

1. Preparing To Find A Job

First, let's get organized. Make a list of all the places you would like to work and include each store/restaurant/movie theater, etc. that you may be interested in. Many first-time employees begin with the food industry.

Think about each place that you would like to work in. Do they have a certain dress code? If so, will the clothes you currently own allow you to meet their standards? What are your transportation options for getting there? Once you've made your list, prioritize it based on which job is most interesting to you or easiest for you to get to. Next, it's time to get searching!

What should I do for my first part time job?

Here is a list of some great part-time jobs to get your foot in the door and practice before applying for full-time employment:

  • Cashier
  • Server
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Online jobs for students
  • Start a business
  • Becoming an animal shelter employee
  • Freelance work, such as writing, designing, or tutoring
  • Working at a local business, such as a restaurant, retail store, or service company
  • Parking lot attendant
  • Lawn mowing, snow shoveling, or other miscellaneous work from neighbors and local community members

Remember to find something that you truly enjoy doing. First part-time jobs should help you gain experience in a desired field while making extra money!

research jobs you can do after school
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2. Research The Jobs

Research the jobs you listed above. This is an important step that many people forget! First, find what each job entails and then determine if it is something appealing to you. You should research your potential employer before you make any decisions. Don't get duped! Here are some things to know before applying for a job:

The working hours and days off

An important thing to know about the company is their working hours and days/days off. First, figure out if you can work those hours. If so, do you want to work those hours?

Wages and Benefits

Make sure you read about whether or not the work has any high-paying positions and what kind of benefits they offer (if any). If you are 18 or older you might consider some of these high-paying jobs. Use websites like Glassdoor to research specific companies and find out if their salary is in line with your expectations.

Dress Code

Find out what the dress code of the workplace is. Is it formal or casual? To find out about dress codes, check the company's website. If you are still unsure, visit the establishment and take note of what the employees are wearing.

create a simple career related resume
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3. Create A Simple Resume

Once you've found a job that you are interested in, create a resume for that position. Include all of your past experiences including any volunteer or leadership positions, as well as work or internship experience if possible. It's not necessary to list every amazing thing you have ever done, so choose carefully when picking which experience to include.

What to include in a simple resume format

When building a simple resume, be sure to include the following elements:

Contact Information

Include a short introduction to briefly state your name and contact information.

Any kind of work experience you may have.

This could include a part-time job, a camp counselor position, yard work, paper route, shoveling snow, or a babysitter. You should highlight any experiences that demonstrate your ability to stay disciplined, commit fully and work hard. Employers are looking for indications of maturity in teens as well as those who will follow through on their commitments.

Any skills you may have.

List any talent that you have that is relevant to the job you are applying for. You can include things like the ability to work well with others, being a good communicator, having strong math or writing skills, etc. This is not necessary but employers highly value these qualities so it's always a good idea to list them if they apply.


In addition to academics, you may have other experiences that could be relevant. For example: “I was on the debate team in high school; we won several awards.”
Mentioning any extracurricular activities or achievements can help your application stand out from others' applications and give a sense of who YOU are outside academic life!

A list of relevant activities could include things like clubs and organizations one was involved with as well as honors received for academic achievements outside the classroom, and awards from contests, even if these are not related directly to your studies.

Leadership roles with school organizations are particularly attractive to employers, as they can see your character in action. Volunteering outside of work and doing community service is another way that shows what you're made of!

Tailor your resume to every position you apply to

If you're applying for more than one position, it's important to tailor your resume to fit each one. This means that you should change the wording and qualifications listed to match what is required for that specific job. For example, if you are applying for a job in customer service, highlight any customer service experience you have instead of food preparation skills.

Read the Job Description Carefully

It is important to carefully read the job description when applying for any position. You should include all of your relevant skills and experience, but be sure to highlight what you offer that sets you apart from other job seekers. This might be a special certification or an extra class/course you took in high school related to the position.

If you don't have any relevant skills or experience, highlight your transferable skills

Transferable skills are those that can be applied in several different positions. Things like working independently, time management skills and communication abilities are all great examples of transferable skills. If you don't have any experience related to the position you are applying or aren't quite sure what skills you do have to offer yet, look back on previous experiences and see if you can find anything that could make you a good fit for the company.

Free Resume Builder

Canva's free resume builder is a great way to get started! The templates are well designed and have been professionally created.

In Canva, you can find hundreds of different types of professional-looking templates for your needs or tastes without paying any money at all. You'll be able to use this simple tool to find your first part-time job.

Resume Examples

It's always good to have some examples handy when you're writing your first one. It can help with formatting and presentation, which are important factors in getting a job!

Don't forget that you need to check your grammar too. A good proofreading tool is Grammarly; it will help with spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes.

4. Apply For The Job

Once your resume is complete, it's time to start applying! First, find out what the application process entails with your desired employer. Some places have certain days of the week in which they accept applications, while others will require applicants to complete an online form or attend a group interview. Regardless of what the process is, make sure to be punctual and prepared!

Once you have completed the step of applying for a job, be on the lookout for further correspondence with your desired employer. If after completing the online application your desired employer calls to set up an interview, be ready! First impressions go a long way so it's important to pay attention to detail.

Tip: Need help finding jobs for younger students? Here is a list of over 30 places that are hiring 14 and 15-year-olds. Would you prefer to work from home? You'll find the best jobs online for students 14 and older here.

5. Be Prepared To Be Turned Down

Every job seeker, regardless of age or experience, will encounter rejection. Employers are not obligated to hire you just because you applied for a job; the same way you're not obligated to accept every job offer that comes your way. If an employer decides they would like to hire another candidate rather than yourself, don't take it personally. It is not a reflection on you as an individual—in many cases it's simply a matter of experience or preference.

If you feel that this may have happened to you, don't be discouraged. Follow up with the employer and inquire whether or not they decided to hire someone else after all. If so, ask for feedback – why they chose another candidate and what you can do to improve the next time. This way, you will know what employers are looking for and how to give them exactly that!

You should always be professional and courteous when responding to a business owner or manager who says they have no need for you. Respond by saying something along the lines of: “Thank you so much for your time! I'll leave my application on file in case anything changes in the future.” This shows them that you are serious about getting employed, as well as demonstrating an ability to follow up with them.

6. Prepare For The Interview

Get ready for an interview! First, you'll want to make sure you know what the company does and how it operates. Next, do some research on frequently asked interview questions. Then create a list of questions to ask your potential employer.

When you apply for a job in person, they may ask that you interview on the spot or at a later time. In order to prepare yourself, it’s important not only to know what questions employers might ask but also how best to answer them!

The following list provides some insight into common interviewing questions and ways teen applicants can prepare themselves:

  • Why are you looking for a job?
  • How would you describe your ability to work with others?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What is a major problem you recently had and how did you handle it?

Practice answering these questions with a friend or relative before you interview so you have adequate time to practice your answers. Make sure you are on time for the job interview and be polite to the interviewer.

7. Decide What To Wear For A Interview

Dress appropriately for the interview. First impressions matter! You don't need to wear a suit, but you definitely want to wear clothes that look nice and feel comfortable. First, check out the potential employer's website or social media pages to get inspiration for what people who work there typically wear. Then use that information to create your outfit.

Dressing for success is a sure way to ensure that you have an excellent experience, so be well-groomed when heading out the door. You can make a good impression by following these simple guidelines: Wear clean clothes, avoid flip flops, shorts, or dirty shoes; put your phone on silent while talking with others; do not wear a hat!

8. Follow Up After The Interview

You can show your enthusiasm for the company and job by calling them to check on the status of your application. Employers will often reward people who follow up after the interview, this shows that you're serious about wanting a position there!

You can follow up in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Sending a handwritten note
  • Sending an email
  • Making a phone call
  • Talking to them on social media

No matter which method you choose, be sure to personalize it and reference the conversation you had during the interview. This will show your interest and enthusiasm for the job.

You Got The Job

Once you get the job, congratulations! First, make sure to follow all of your employer's guidelines on workplace etiquette; ask questions if needed, be punctual, dress appropriately, and show up ready to work each day. Then start having fun!

I'm so excited for you to obtain your first part-time job! First jobs can be extremely rewarding and I hope this guide has helped open up possibilities for you. Good luck in all that you do!