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Get a job

Girl serving ice cream

Every year millions of teens work part-time or summer jobs. Having a job is a great opportunity to gain experience and valuable skills while earning some money at the same time. Many teens have jobs in areas such as babysitting, fast food, retail, and newspaper delivery — these, as well as other jobs, can teach you a great deal about leadership, time management, and responsibility.

Remember that your job should not come before your other responsibilities though. Working should not get in the way of school, family, your social life, or your health. Working too much can lead to not enough sleep, poor nutrition, and higher levels of stress. Plus, there are rules on the types of jobs teens can have and the number of hours they can work.

Learn more about:

Writing a resume

A resume (say: reh-zuh-MAY) is a summary, usually one to two typed pages, of your experiences and education. You can send your resume to a job advertised in the newspaper or on the Internet, or you can bring it with you if you are applying somewhere in person (such as a restaurant or retail store). Often, you may also need to complete a job application, too, which is provided by the employer.

What should be included in my resume?

  1. Contact information (full name, address, telephone number, and email address). Be sure to use a professional email address because you want to be taken seriously! would not be a good choice. You can start a new email address through a free email provider like Gmail or Hotmail and use that address just for job searches.
  2. A list of the jobs you’ve had and the dates when you worked at them (this can include babysitting and volunteer positions).
  3. Your education history (the name of your high school, college, and your graduation dates, if you’ve graduated).
  4. Any computer skills, languages spoken (if you speak more than one), or honors and awards you’ve received can be included on your resume.
  5. References can be included on your resume if you still have a lot of space to fill on the page. Typically, an employer will ask for three references. Choose your references wisely! Be sure to select people who know you well and will be taken seriously by your potential employer. Also, always ask a reference if you can provide their name and phone number before sending it out.

Search on the Internet or ask your guidance counselor for sample resumes. You can follow the formatting style from the sample resume if you need ideas on how your resume should look. Finally, remember to proofread your resume! You don’t want any mistakes on it because this is the first thing a potential employer will see from you. A well-organized and well-written resume will show an employer that you are a smart and careful person. Ask a teacher or parent to look over your resume — they may be able to catch mistakes that you missed.


Getting ready for a job interview

Once you’ve gotten the job interview, there are a number of things you can do to prepare. Getting ready for the interview is as important as actually going to the interview. It will help build your confidence and can help you be chosen for the job.

  1. Learn about the company. Find out what you can about the position or company in advance and show your knowledge during the interview. Look on the Internet, or speak to someone who works at the company already. Knowing what a position involves also allows you to think in advance about which specific skills you have that fit well with the job.
  2. Prepare a list of questions. After researching the company, make a list of questions to bring to your interview. This shows your potential employer that you are interested in the company and have the ability to think ahead.
  3. Choose appropriate clothes. What you wear to your interview is very important. You want to appear professional and reliable. Learn more about fashion dos and don’ts during an interview.

Find important information and laws working teens should know about at Youth Rules! External link(United States Department of Labor).

Learn about Young Worker Safety and Health External link (CDC, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health).

Read “Finding a Summer Job or Internship External link” for advice and information on finding a job.

Thinking of babysitting? Read “Babysitting Basics! External link

Volunteering can be a great way to get job experience and to help others! Learn more about volunteering External link.


Content last reviewed September 22, 2009
Page last updated April 17, 2015