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How To Get A Job


It's been a while - I've had mock exams and just general busy-ness!

Today I thought I'd share some of my experience on something I get asked a lot - how to get a part time job as a teenager. Please note, this is just my experience and other people will undoubtedly have had differing opportunities etc. however, I do understand how frustrating it is when you want to get a weekend job/ a job to go alongside your studies but don't know where to start!

So, if you're new, a little info about me. I'm 17 years old in full time education studying A Levels. I have been doing some form of working/ volunteering since I was 12, generally at the weekends. For me, doing some form of work has been great for building confidence, independence, people skills and (in the long run) helping to form an impressive CV, something that is great when applying for your first job, uni, college and so on and so forth. In addition, particularly over the past couple of years, having something to force me to come away from my desk and revision has been a really great stress reliever. I'm going to try and put as much in here as I can remember but I've taken out some specific volunteering examples that are more of a one off, eventhough they are still fantastic opportunities that you can put on your CV(although I think I'll do a post soon on helping/ organising charity events as I have another coming up shortly)

First things first, get together a CV
It doesn't matter if you feel as though you have  nothing to put on it. Remember, student council, clubs, helping out at charity events etc. can all be put on your CV. This may sound obvious but keep the style simple: no swirly fonts or fancy backgrounds; it looks more professional without all of these additions. Perhaps ask your parents or someone you know to send you their own CV so you can get some ideas of the sort of thing you're aiming for - my original CV used my dad's as a template and five years later it's unrecognisable, it'll become your own quickly. Don't forget to keep updating it as you get different jobs, it's much easier to seize opportunities if your CV only takes 15 minutes to check over and print than if it takes a few hours.

Don't forget to include:
Full name
Phone number
Date of birth
The subjects you're studying/ qualifications you have
Any work experience/ general things you've done (inc the date, a few lines of description about your role and how it aided your personal development and put these with the newest/ most relevant first)
Interests/ hobbies (keep this brief, a quick list at the end. This can be personalised according to the job - if it's in a cafe and you enjoy baking, make sure this is at the top of that list)

Ensure you follow the proper etiquette for the situation, it's not a creative writing piece, it doesn't need ! or informality. Don't rely on spell check either - read through yourself and get someone else to check your grammar.

Job hunt

There have been very few jobs that I have replied to in response for an advert. Don't get disheartened if you give a place your CV and don't hear from them, they might not need new staff or you might not be right for them - you can go in and (politely) chase it up however.

Your opportunities can depend on your location too. I live in a village so applied to independent shops, restaurants and cafes - perhaps you have family and friends with connections. However, if you are more central, chain stores may be looking to hire and often applications for these are online rather than face to face (although I have very little experience with this) please remember this is purely based on part time work around school, eventhough much of it will apply to full time work.

Apply to as many places as you wish, I started with 5 and  weeks later was invited in for an interview at the coffee shop I now work at. One thing I personally follow is this: don't believe any job is beneath you. It might be washing the pots at first but it proves you're willing to work.

Cover letter
Don't save time and just do one blanket cover letter for all jobs you apply to. Yes, they can all follow the same lines but make sure you know a little about the company to see what sort of things they value. If they pride themselves on good customer service, make a big deal about you communication skills! If you know the name of the business owner, address it to them. This is all about getting you a job, you're competing with other people for the position, now isn't the time to be timid. Be clear about when you can work also, while it was clear that due to my age I was in full education a year ago, now I must state it as some are instead in part time education by 17. Here's the text from a cover letter I used nearly 2 years ago when applying for my current job at the coffee shop:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please find attached my CV.  I hope you will be able to consider me for a weekend role (should one become available) at XXXXXXXXXX

I am currently a Year 11 student at XXXXXXXXXXX and will turn 16 on 19th October.

I have gained fairly broad experience through a number of roles, both paid and voluntary that I believe would complement a position in your business, should the opportunity arise.

Since September 2014, I have worked weekly in the XXXXXXXX; alongside a monthly delivery round XXXXXXXXX, for which I have also written the youth column for 3 years.

I have worked with groups of young children and their parents during my summer holidays by volunteering in the local library.

More relevant to the catering industry, I also waitressed at the XXXXXXXX

I’m enthusiastic, reliable and hardworking; through my various positions, I have gained valuable skills regarding communicating with customers and staff.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you need any further information.

Yours sincerely,


elleroseblogs ( put your actual name here.....)

This isn't a stellar example but it's the basis (I've cut some out) and I figured most people reading this for advice probably wouldn't be too late in to their teens so didn't put on a more recent one. Don't forget to include your contact details on here again and make sure it is set out like a letter. Again, make sure everything is spelled correctly. Please note, if you are already 16, it isn't as necessary to put this in, when I was applying it was more important to state I would be 16 in a little over a month as many places didn't hire under 16.

Going in to the establishment

You have your cover letter and CV, now you've got to hand it in. Put both in an envelope with the recipient on the front, walk in (I always found this more effective than putting it through a letter box) act confidently even if you're incredibly nervous and say something along the lines of "am I ok to give you my CV in case anything comes up?" be polite, smiley, respectful. I took one CV in to a place and they asked about my availability and said they were sorry, they couldn't employ just for weekends. That's fine, thank them for their time and leave, it's not the end of the world even if it feels disheartening, it's all a learning experience.

The interview

So you get a call and are asked to come in - great! Nothing to worry about, be yourself, just with confidence. Don't go in unprepared, arrive in plenty of time, smile! Make sure you know everything you put on your CV and don't just assume the interviewer has even read it let alone remembered it. Think before about why you want the job, what you could bring to the job and why you like that establishment. As hard as it may be, try to relax. Answer questions truthfully, don't try and babble out of a question. If they ask about weaknesses, give one but then mention how you're improving. Be polite throughout - I really can't say this enough. If you get the job, work hard!


This is where volunteering comes in: helping with clubs; working in charity shops; organising charity events, the list is endless. For me, volunteering was great before I was 16 as few places wanted someone so young. Therefore, I proved my enthusiasm, helped a good cause and gained valuable experience in various volunteering roles, namely working weekly in a charity shop on Saturdays. Even with a paid job now, I volunteer weekly to help teach musical theatre, write my youth column in the local magazine and also help at one off events for charity, it really is a rewarding thing to do.

Babysitting, dog walking, gardening and even paper rounds are certainly things to consider. I still have a delivery round to complete once a month delivering a local magazine and babysit, it's a great way to earn an extra bit of money.

For me, school comes first and it's important to an extent to remember (particularly if this is just a weekend job until uni) that it can't take over your life. If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take a step back, look at things and work it out. Some find it better to work after school, others at weekends and you'll find what works for you. I've probably forgotten something so please don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like some more information, again, this is just my experience!

Hope this was useful


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