job search tips for high school students
Posted : March 27, 2014
Last Updated : February 15, 2016
From researching possible employment positions to filling out applications, there is a variety of steps involved in obtaining a part-time job. As a high school student who is competing with other teens and adults in the job search, you must be prepared and put your best foot forward. Check out these top 10 job search tips for high school students.
Acquire working papers. In some states, minors must have employment certificates or permits in order to work. Check with the Department of Labor in your state to see if this is a requirement and for more information.
Clean up your social media pages. If you are active on social media, make sure that your pages represent someone who is responsible and hirable. Hiring managers can and do screen potential employees by observing their online presence. Delete any questionable pictures or text from your social media pages before you begin your job search.
Create a high school resume. A resume isn't just for adults; high school students need a resume too. Providing hiring managers with your resume not only shows that you are serious about obtaining a job, but it also highlights your abilities, education, and experiences. Include your resume when submitting your application for employment.
Secure letters of recommendation or a list of references. Before you begin your job search, be sure to secure references. Ask your teachers, counselors, coaches, etc. if they will be your references or if they would be willing to write letters of recommendation for you. If they agree to be references, let them know that you will be starting the process of searching for a part-time job and that they may be receiving phone calls from hiring managers soon. If they agree to write letters of recommendation for you, provide them with materials they may need, such as a list of your accomplishments and experiences, your transcript, etc.
Utilize a variety of search methods. When searching for a job, don't put all of your eggs in one basket. Be sure to use an assortment of resources including:
Online search engines – Job search engines, such as monster.com and snagajob.com, are the most convenient ways to search for jobs.
Social media sites – Three of the most common social media sites to utilize when networking for a job are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
Personal contacts – Networking is very important during the job search. Let your family, friends, teachers, counselors, mentors, etc. know that you are looking for a part-time job.
Cold contacts – Cold calling companies is a great way to find a part-time job that hasn't been vastly advertised. Telephone, write, or visit employers in your area and inquire about part-time job opportunities.
Print materials – Part-time jobs can be found through print materials, such as flyers and newspaper classified ads.
Apply for many jobs. Don't just apply for a couple of part-time jobs and cross your fingers that you get one. Apply for as many jobs as possible to increase the likelihood of an offer.
Use a professional email address. When filling out job applications, be sure to use a professional email address. Using a cutesy or risqué email address will make you appear immature and prove that your attention to detail is lacking. Save the cutesy email address for personal use among your family and friends, and keep your professional email address simple and straightforward by using a variation of your first, middle, and last name.
Keep an open mind. Don't limit yourself to a certain type of job. You may be set on finding a retail job but if you only apply to those types of jobs, you could be missing out on a great opportunity that you didn't even realize existed.
Expect an instant interview. If you are filling out or dropping off a job application in person, always be prepared for an instant interview in case the hiring manager can meet with you right away. Dress appropriately and make sure you have practiced answering sample interview questions beforehand. Be sure to bring materials that the hiring manager may need, such as your driver's license, Social Security card, resume, letter of recommendation, or a list of references.
Follow up. You should always follow up when searching for a job. If you meet with a hiring manager in person, be sure to send a thank you note to express your appreciation for the interview. If you submit an online application, you may call after 7-10 days to check on the status of your application.
For more information about working a part-time job as a high school student, check out Benefits of Working a Part-Time Job in High School and How to Balance High School and a Part-Time Job.