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Tips for teens looking for a job

Whether you're looking for some weekend or casual work or a job over the summer holidays, here are some tips to help you land your first role.

Not only is a job great for earning some extra money, it can also be a great learning experience (and hopefully even fun). To help you decide what sort of roles to apply for, think about:

  • What your interests are (e.g. the outdoors, animals, fashion)
  • Your strengths (e.g. good with numbers/money, communication) 
  • What you want to work on (e.g. weaknesses, such as organisation skills).

These areas will be helpful when writing your resume and preparing for your interview. Being honest about your strengths, areas of improvements and interests will make you come across as a confident candidate who is willing to learn. 

Without any past experience, you might have a pretty thin resume (also known as a CV), so it can be difficult to stand out. If you need help drafting your resume, here are some templates you might find handy. 

The key here is to do research on your potential employer and tailor your resume to showcase how your qualities, experience and interests can add value to the business or company. For example, being involved in team sports means you are comfortable being a team player. These skills are vital in businesses where you have to work closely with your colleagues towards a common goal, such as a fast food restaurant.

Above all, show your enthusiasm. It’s also a good idea to add when you’re free to work (known as your ‘availability’).  

You’ve got two choices –online through sites like Seek, or by directly approaching the businesses you want to work for. You can do this face-to-face (remember to take a copy of your resume and dress appropriately) or online, by emailing your resume or through social media. 

For anyone looking for a job in the new digital age, you have to be mindful of your digital footprint – it could work against you. Your digital footprint is your social media presence on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or your blog. Anything that’s public could be found by your potential employer (some businesses will Google potential employees), so keep your social information private.  If you do not feel comfortable with what you have, go through your social networks and clean them up.

On the other hand, having an online profile that aligns itself with the company you want to work for is a great boost. The owner of your local surf shop might think you’re a great fit if they can see how much you love surfing. 

Being interviewed, or going in for a trial shift, can be stressful. Being prepared will make the experience much easier, so ask a friend or family member to grill you with some practice questions, such as ‘What are your strengths and weaknesses’, or ‘Tell us about your past work experience’. Bring examples of when you’ve handled different responsibilities and situations, and research the company so you can be prepared with questions to ask your potential boss. Most importantly, try to relax and show your personality and how enthusiastic you are about the role. 

Congratulations! This is a great first step to financial freedom, and hopefully you’ll enjoy your new responsibilities. Before you start your role, make sure:

Tips for teens looking for a job

Tips for teens...

 Open a Smart Access Account today and have your salary paid directly into your account for instant access.

 Find out how much you could save and how long it would take with our savings calculator.

 Get off to the right start with bonus interest when you save regularly, with a YouthSaver.

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