Do you remember your first job? Mine was working in the cafeteria in an assisted living community. I can’t even remember how I heard about that job. My biggest memories are wearing the hairnet and how cold it was in the freezer. For many parents, their teenagers may be getting ready to search for their first job. Applying for a job is a skill that all teenagers need but may not get the necessary guidance in high school.

A few years ago, during Spring Break, my older son attended free courses for teens on interviewing and resume writing. I asked him to share his most significant takeaways from both sessions. Here is what he got out of the workshops that you can share with your teenager:

Top Tips for Resumes

  • Most kids under the age of 18 will not need a resume when applying for a job.
  •  If they do, the resume shouldn’t be more than a half or full page in length.

A resume should include:

  • Name, mailing address, phone number, and a professional sounding email address
  • Summary about your background – for a teen, this may be place of birth, school attended, experiences they have gained, etc.
  • Work experience – only if they have work experience
  • Volunteer experience – include the name of the organization, details of work, dates, etc.
  • Organization memberships – honor society, scouts, athletic teams, etc.
  •  Awards received
  • References – you only need to put “references available upon request.”
  • You can include accomplishments, but make sure they are relevant to the job. For example, “ability to stuff 20 marshmallows in my mouth” is impressive but not relevant unless the job is a circus performer.
  • Keep the resume simple – fancy pictures or graphics are not necessary.

Top Tips for Interviews

  • You only have one shot to make a good impression.
  • Be honest and don’t lie to try to get the job. The interviewer will either be able to tell or check if you are telling the truth.
  • When asked what your weakness is, never give just one. Chances are, they will ask for another one. An example may be that you are stubborn. But you could also say you are aware of this, and it’s something you are working on to get better.
  • Good posture is always crucial in an interview – don’t slouch.
  • Keep your legs together or cross them – it looks more professional.
  • Maintain eye contact – look at the interviewer for four seconds and take one second to look away.
  • Don’t wear bright colors or big jewelry as it will distract the interviewer from what you are saying.
  • Do wear grey, blue or white.
  • Be cautious in wearing black as the color can relay sadness or mourning.
  • For teenagers, it’s ok to ask about pay, hours, breaks, and flexibility.

Is your teenager an introvert or unsure of themselves? Do you want them to be interview-ready? Check out our Best Foot Forward package. Your teen will receive a report that outlines their greatest strengths. This report is an ego-boosting and confidence-building report that will help your teen ace that first interview.

Schedule a complimentary College Assessment Plan call with me here for even more guidance with setting up your teen for success.