How to Help Your Teen Find Their First Job

Like most teens, your child probably wants to make their own money. Even if you give your kids an allowance, as they grow older, an allowance often isn’t enough to get them the things they want. And of course, there are many benefits to your teen getting a job:

  • They’ll build valuable work experience they can add to their resume in the future
  • They’ll have their own money to purchase products they want, like electronics, games, and the latest fashionable clothes
  • It allows them to better understand money management
  • Their work ethic will be more refined
  • It encourages a healthy transition into responsible adulthood

It may seem scary at first to help your teen find a job, but if you focus on the benefits, you’ll see that they far outweigh the cons. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to help your teen find and succeed in their first job:

Let Them Do the Legwork

It may be tempting to take charge when it comes to helping your teen, but they’ll never fully understand the work that goes into finding a job if you don’t let them do the legwork. Instead of curating the best jobs, it’s important to behave more like a coach.

Offer them advice along the way, rather than take charge. For instance, steer them in the right direction as far as which job seeking platforms to use, and teach them how to read employee reviews on Glassdoor.

teenagers first job

Encourage Them to Work Within Their Skills

The roster of jobs available for teens is, of course, limited, but there are still ways you can encourage them to work within their skills and talents. For example, if your teen is an extrovert who likes to socialize and help people, a hostess or waitress might be a good first job.

If they like fashion, why not work as a sales associate at a retail location? Or perhaps they’re good with kids, and they can check out sites like or Sittercity for local babysitting jobs.

teenagers first job

Work on Their Resume & Cover Letter

Your teen will likely have the most trouble creating their resumes and cover letters. After all, because this is their first job, approaching a piece of paper meant to detail work experience is inherently difficult.

It’s important to note that many jobs where teens can apply merely ask them to fill out a printed application and list references.

However, in some cases, an employer will ask for a resume, and it’s best to be prepared. Even if your teen doesn’t end up using their resume at all during the job hunt, it still helps them understand how to create one.

Writing a resume allows teens to better understand where their talking points are. With no job experience, your child should focus on listing out skills and hobbies, any sports they participate in, extracurricular programs, any casual positions (like dog walking or babysitting), volunteer work, and any school awards or certificates they may have.

Check out this sample resume for a teen with no job experience for inspiration and direction.

teenagers first job

Prep Them for the Interview

Most entry-level jobs that bring teens on board don’t expect those potential employees to have a long list of work experience, and therefore relatively straightforward interview processes. However, there are a few key things these employers are looking for, and it helps to have your teen prepared for them.

For example, a presentation is very important. No matter what the job is, encourage your teen to dress professionally. Attitude and confidence are also very important. Conduct a mock interview with your teen to prepare them. They should do the following:

  • Smile when meeting the interviewer, and throughout the interview
  • Project their voice when they speak
  • Speak clearly without looking at the floor, and avoid “umms”
  • Sit up straight
  • End the interview with, “thank you for your time”

Some common questions they might be asked are:

  • What makes you an ideal candidate for this position?
  • How would you handle stress in the workplace?
  • Tell me a little bit about yourself?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What’s an accomplishment that you’re proud of?
  • What are your weaknesses?

You should also have your teen research the company and the company website before they arrive at the interview, which provides them with more talking points.

teenagers first job

After the Get Their First Job

Once your teen has got the job, congrats! They managed to survive the research and interview process and are well on their way to making their own money. As a mom, there are a few key things you can spearhead to ensure everything goes right.

  1. Adjust their expectations

Getting started in a first job can result in mixed expectations. Make sure you talk to them about what their job entails and how to prepare for unexpected bumps along the road.

Managing expectations will help to make the transition from school to work a lot smoother.

2. Get the contract checked

If you want a bit of extra security, get the employment contract checked by a lawyer to make sure you’ve covered all bases. There might be unexpected situations which the contract will not mention and getting legal advice at that stage might be more costly and less effective.

3. Safety First

If your child’s first job is at a factory, in the position of a lifeguard, or any position where their safety could be compromised, it’s worth getting familiar with legal options you might have. For instance, if your teen was hurt on the job, you’d have to know how to react quick. According to Schwartzapfel personal injury lawyers, “Ensuring that your teen is safe during the job is crucial, but in the event of an emergency, it’s important for you to know what your options are from a legal standpoint.”

4. Finance Management

You might also want to help your teen open a bank account to manage their own expenses. It helps to teach them how to balance a checkbook and save up money effectively.

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