If you’re a teenager, you’re probably eager to get your first paid job. It’s a great way to earn spending money and a chance to start saving for a big-ticket item, like travelling or school. But if this is your first time applying for a job, it’s probably overwhelming, and you might not know where to begin. Where can you work? How old do you have to be? What will you earn? How do you figure out what you want to do? How do you apply and how do you ace that interview? This article will help answer some of your questions.
1. The first step is to decide what you want to do and when you want to work. Are you looking for a part-time job during the year or a full-time summer job? Do you like working with children or are you great at sales? What are your skills and interests? If you love books, a job at a bookstore may be up your alley? If you are a great hockey player, maybe you want to teach skating lessons or work at a hockey camp. Talk it over with your friends and parents and make a list of what you do and don’t want to do. This will help narrow down your search and enable you to write your resume.
2. To apply for nearly any job, you’ll need a resume. A resume is basically a one-page document that lists your education, previous job experience, your interests, any awards you’ve won or groups you’ve joined and your objective. There are many templates online, so choose the format that is the easiest to read, and keep it as short and succinct as possible.
This is your chance to put your best foot forward and highlight all the reasons someone should hire you for a job. Make sure to have someone edit it and proofread it because you won’t want to have any careless errors or spelling mistakes.
3. Once you’ve decided what you want to do and you have a polished resume in hand, you can begin searching for jobs. If you want to work at a camp or for a particular restaurant, bookstore, company or organization, go onto their website under the Careers section to see what opportunities exist and the deadline by which you need to apply. Perhaps they have specific application criteria, such as questionnaire or a cover letter in addition to your resume.
Many organizations hire students and might have internship opportunities or volunteer positions that offer bursaries or a stipend; click on the tabs titled Internships or Volunteers for jobs that might be most applicable to your interests. Then, follow the directions and submit whatever information is required. There are lots of online internship and job search sites you can explore, including Facebook. You might even want to try the federal government website at http://canada.pch.gc.ca for a great listing of job and internship opportunities.
4. Networking is another way to search for a job. Start with your parents or your friends’ parents. If they are in a particular line of work in which you are interested, they might be able to help by referring you to a colleague or even hiring you themselves. You don’t know unless you ask.
5. Once you apply for a job, you might not hear back for a few weeks. This is why you’ll want to apply for several opportunities at once. Not only is it a good way to practice going through the application process, but it will also help to ensure you don’t put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.
Feel free to follow up with a phone call after enough time has passed to let your potential employer know that you applied for a position and would welcome the opportunity to meet for an interview. Don’t call too soon or too often, but if done politely and respectfully, it could jog an employer’s memory and indicate your level of interest and professionalism, and advance you to the next stage in the process.
6. Every province has labour laws pertaining to student employees. These laws define how old you can be to work, how many hours you are allowed to work, and the minimum you can be paid. For instance, in Ontario, a person under 16 is not permitted to work during school hours.
If you’re under 18, you can’t sell or serve alcohol or work in certain jobs deemed unsafe for young workers. The student minimum wage in Ontario is $10.70 per hour. You’ll want to check your provincial government website for more information. https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/atwork/youngworkers.php
7. When an employer calls you, you may be asked to come in for an interview. You’ll want to prepare yourself in advance. Think about why you want to work at that particular place and what skills you can offer. Practice your responses with a friend or adult until you feel confident. Then, dress for success, looking clean and polished so you can put your best foot forward.