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Teens: 3 tips for how to land your first job

August 1, 2012


Please welcome Asia, one of our GoodGuides mentees, to the blog today! Asia is an inspiring teenager who is planning to enter college this fall.

She’s been a part of our GoodGuides mentoring program since it started more than 2 years ago, and recently landed her first job and several internships that are helping her prepare for college and a career path.

To learn more about Asia, click here.

The idea of having a job for the first time is exciting isn’t it? Well, here are three tips for actually landing that very first job.

  • Apply!

I know this sounds a little obvious, but how many times have you been in your favorite store in the mall and said to yourself “Man, I would love to work here.” Why not find out if they are hiring? If they aren’t, ask about applying anyway. Just because they aren’t now doesn’t mean they won’t ever be hiring again. Get your application in NOW so yours can be reviewed first!

The first step is always the easiest.

  1. Make sure your “papers” are in order.

Your papers, meaning your resume and references, are key pieces to landing your first (and any other) job.

Speaking of, how is that resume of yours? Is it cluttered? Up-to-date? Is all the information relevant? Any grammatical errors?  These are all things to consider whenever you even look at your resume.

Do you have a list of references just in case you’re asked? If yes, have you given them a call to make sure they actually have positive things to say? No? Well you need to! You don’t want to be that person with a great interview but less-than-stellar references. Trust me, you won’t get the job.

If you don’t have any references, don’t give up yet! Anyone who knows you well (and is not a family member) can be a reference, including teachers, counselors, community leaders and volunteer project supervisors.

  • Protect your reputation!

I cannot stress this enough, your reputation should be the most prized possession you have, so protect it at all costs. Do you realize how easily an employer will throw out a potential employee’s application simply because of a bad reputation? Loyalty, honesty and hard work go a long way. Seriously guys, no one wants to hire a slacker or a cheater.

Check your ethical and moral values. How do you behave when you are being watched, when you are not being watched, and when you don’t think you’re being watched?  You would be surprised how many opportunities are missed every day because a person did something they shouldn’t have, while they thought they weren’t being watched.

I know this sounds like a lot, but I promise if you keep these three tips in mind while applying for jobs you’ll have your first one in no time. Whenever you get nervous, breathe, breathe again and remember that if you’ve made it this far, you’ve almost got the job!

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