Teen Employment: A Few Tips And Tricks On How To Start Applying For A Job

During the high school experience, teenagers are going through the transition from childhood to adulthood. One large transition that teenagers and young adults go through is the challenge of balancing work and school. This is the period where many of us will be encountering opportunities of getting our first job. High school teens may be seeking jobs for the purpose of helping their families out, gaining work experience, or simply having the ability to buy things with their own money. However, many teens do not know the steps and processes of how to get a job.

Where Do We Start?

Graphic of a waiter balancing books and tableware. Photo courtesy The New York Times.

Gaining work experience while in high school is difficult, especially due to the fact this will be many individuals’ first experience learning how to balance school, work, and life. One question that affects students the most when wanting to begin to work at a job is…Where do I start? This question has several easy in simple solutions which can be the first step into the work experience journey. 


Image by Elnora Turner © The Balance 2019

Finding a job requires research which can range from finding the minimum age to hire to the payment. Other important information is things such as treatment of employees, benefits, disadvantages, and the difficulty of how to get hired. As high school students, many are in that exact age range to get hired at retail locations, fast food chains, and grocery stores. Researching is important especially if there is a specific company or retail store that someone will like to work at. You want to make sure that you know the basic qualifications needed for the job such as age, roles, and of course the position that a place is offering.

Many websites such as Indeed.com can help make the research process become much smoother. It also provides job details, salary details, benefits, and qualities the hiring manager is looking for. 

Applications and Resumes

Photo Credit: Resume.io

Once you find a job that you are interested in, it’s time to make a resume and/or fill out an application. A resume is a document that provides an overview of your skills, qualifications, job experience, and accomplishments. While an application basically is a resume that the hiring company provides. Resumes are very important in the hiring process as it gives the hiring manager a general idea of the qualities someone can present to be hired. There are many steps to completing a resume such as:

Step 1: Find A Template or Make Your Own

Many of us do not know how to format a resume, especially if it is our first time making one. The internet has lots of websites that have templates full of different types of resumes; if you want an original resume you can take inspiration from an online template to create your own. 

Resume.io has many templates to choose from; as well the websites give many the option of creating their own unique resume.

There are several websites that provide services to help individuals who are starting off on their journey of applying for a job position. Websites such as Resume.com, Resumegenius.com, and Canva.com are a few of the many optional websites that have templates.

Step 2: Make A Cover Letter

Image by Colleen Tighe © The Balance 2019 

What exactly is a cover letter? A cover letter is a one-page 200-400 word document that is submitted with the resume. Its purpose is to introduce yourself and any qualities you have; good cover letters tend to lead hiring managers to read your resume. Just like resumes, a cover letter can be either made or a template could be found online. Websites that have cover letter templates are Resumegenius.com, Indeed.com, and many more. A good cover letter must have these few qualities:

  • Header – Input contact information
  • Greeting the hiring manager
  • Opening paragraph – Grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements
  • The second paragraph – Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job
  • Third paragraph – Explain why you’re a good match for the company
  • Formal closing

Step 3: Fill Out Any Information in the Resume

Resume templates are simply easy to fill out, especially because as students the lengthy parts such as job experience may not apply to any of us. Some very important features to have on a resume are contacts, skills, awards, and educational accolades, such as good grades or GPA.

Step 4: Put References

References are people who can talk and identify any qualities about yourself, whether it be work habits or skills. References should be chosen very carefully as hiring managers to contact these individuals in regard to questions about habits. As part of the job search process, you may be asked to provide the names of people whom a hiring manager can contact to find out more about you.

Step 5: Have Someone Read The Resume Over

This step is not necessary however recommended for those who are filling out a resume for the first time. Getting an opinion from an individual can help trace out any left-out information which can be deemed useful for the job. This step also allows you to listen and discuss with individuals who have already been through the hiring process before and have an experience they are willing to share.

Step 6: Submit The Application And Resume To The Hiring Manager

Once done an application and resume can be sent to the hiring manager. This can be done through the website for the company or website in which the information about that job position had been handled.

Preparing For An Interview

Credit: Thebalancecareers.com

After the application and resume have been sent if the hiring manager seemed to have read your application and liked it, then you have gone onto the next stage which is doing an interview. Interviews are basically being able to sell your best qualities to the hiring manager to receive the position you applied for. It is also basically a normal conversation with someone, as hiring managers want to know about you. They want to listen and learn about you and the experiences you have gone through and why that makes you the best candidate for the job. Questions that hiring managers may ask you are:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why this establishment?
  • What do you expect to gain, and what do you have to offer?
  • What skills make you well equipped for the job?
  • Where do you see yourself in a few years?
  • Describe teamwork skills? How have you in a past experience helped out a team when everyone is unmotivated or has a conflict?

If the position is in retail or food service they may also ask you questions such as:

  • If the location ran out of a product, ingredient, or item how would you inform a customer?
  • What does customer service mean to you? What customer service skills do you have if any?
  • How would you handle a customer who states that they are unsatisfied with the item they bought?
  • Many questions for retail, food service and childcare will be scenerio based questions about the job position and task which will be handled.

There are also many platforms that can help describe certain interviews with different companies; these platforms can range from youtube to blogs or websites. Overall, becoming an employed teenager does take a lot of work, but it is worth noting the process, and often very worthwhile.

<a href="https://thecaduceustimes.com/2021/10/victoria-sosa/">Victoria Sosa</a>
Victoria Sosa

Victoria Sosa is a dedicated writer and editor of ​​The Caduceus Times, as well as a student at [email protected] Homestead. She is focused on touching the topics of entertainment and featured articles, allowing her readers to go through a journey through her writing. Her love for writing came from reading at a young age, as well the curiosity of the world around her. When not working, you can find her writing short fiction stories, listening to crime podcasts, or exploring new hobbies.