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Four Tips for Teens: How to get your first job

Four Tips for Teens

Summer is quickly approaching, which means there are going to be quite a few teens looking for a job. If this is their first time, it can be a little overwhelming to figure out where to start. We just went through the process with our own teen, so I’ve put together my best tips for you (and your kid)!

  1. Talk through it – Sit down and make a list of what interests them. Maybe they love being around people or maybe they love organizing. Talk about where their friends work and how they like it. All those little clues about what they like will help them find a job that they will enjoy and stick with. For my daughter, she really wanted to have Sundays off, because that is our family day, so we started the search with places we knew were closed that day.
  2. Play Dress Up – This is the first time they have ever been exposed to interviewing or even asking for a job application! Help them understand what questions they will be asked and how to approach management for an application. For example, talk about why lunchtime isn’t a good time of day to pick up a job application at a restaurant. Teach them that there can be many steps that happen before even having an interview. Pick out an appropriate outfit and make sure they have a notepad and pen. Write a script for the phone calls they will make. When they know what to expect, it takes a lot of the anxiety out of the process. Practice a few questions that they will likely be asked.
  3. Resumé – Remember all of those babysitting jobs and volunteer hours they put in at the food drive? Well, this is what will make up their first resume. Take a few minutes to jot down the events you can remember and keep that list handy. As they fill out applications, this list can be the template that they use each time, which will save your sanity.
  4. Follow-Up – This is the perfect opportunity to teach follow-up skills that will carry them into their next jobs. Write thank you notes, follow-up, and follow-up one more time.

Final tip: Check with your financial institution. Some will offer free and no-fee checking accounts with their first job’s direct deposit information. It is so rewarding to see their faces light up when they get that first paycheck! 

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