How to Get a Part Time Job


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Looking to land your first part-time job? Don't miss these super practical tips for how to wow your potential employer, nail your interview, and finally hear those magic words you've been waiting for--you're hired!

 This is a guest post from Eva Baker of TeensGotCents

Getting a part time job is a rite of passage for most American teens. It’s a great way to earn extra money that can be saved for college expenses, buying your first car, but especially important on Friday night when you want to go to the movies with your friends!

It seems like it would be easy for most teenagers to get a job but that isn’t always true.

Many of my friends have found out the hard way just how competitive the job market is for teenagers. Some have been trying for more than six months to find a position. Having a job as a teen is more important than ever if you want to prepare well for your financial future.

In the last two years of blogging I have had the privilege of speaking with and interviewing a number of business owners and hiring managers from all over. As I continued to have these conversations I noticed a few ideas repeated over and over by these employers when I asked for their best advice for teens seeking a part time job.

Although the process can seem overwhelming there are 5 practical steps you can take, even as a young teen, that will help you secure an awesome part time job. None of the steps are that difficult but they will take a commitment from you. Obviously, I can’t guarantee that you will get a job immediately but if you stick it out and put in the work I can say that you will stand out from all of the other applicants!

When looking for a part time job, applications should be neat and organized.

Complete the application thoroughly and be neat.

It might seem silly to even have to say that but the managers I have spoken to say they get incomplete applications every single day. Guess what happens to those applications? Yep, you guessed it, they get thrown in the trash. And you don’t want that to happen to you. Be careful to fill out everything accurately and completely. Use your best handwriting if it is a written application.

Some business owners say they get 10 – 20 applications a day on average. They just don’t have time to follow up with a teen that won’t take the time to fill out an application carefully. It would be a good idea to have a friend or family member look over the application before you turn it in just to make sure you didn’t miss anything. At the very least double check it yourself and correct any errors.

Dress appropriately when interview for a part time job.

Dress Appropriately

You know your favorite shorts and that tank top you love to wear? And those really comfy flip flops you’ve had for 3 years? Don’t even think about it! Even if you are just stopping in to pick up an application you need to dress appropriately. One of the managers I interviewed said that he has had young people show up in swimsuits to drop off an application. Surprisingly, he didn’t call them in for an interview…

That said, you don’t have to wear a business suit either. If you are picking up or dropping off an application wear business casual clothes. For the guys it might be a pair of khaki pants and a shirt with a collar. A nice blouse with a pair of pants or a skirt would be perfect for the girls. Dress shoes are not necessary but definitely leave the flip flops at home!

You might want to step it up a bit for an interview but it may not be necessary. A nice business casual outfit will probably be perfect for most teens. Unless you want to intern at a law office. You will probably want to pull out the suit and dress shoes at that point!

 Prepare your resume ahead of time before looking for a part time job.

Prepare a resume

I know, I know. You are in middle school or high school and you don’t have anything to put on a resume. Right? Wrong! A high school resume can be an important part of getting you that dream job! As a student you most likely have accomplishments and have been involved in activities that demonstrate leadership abilities. When a hiring manager sees the resume you have prepared it lets them know a little bit more about who you are. It shows that you have taken the time to go above and beyond to demonstrate that you can be a good employee.

Letting them know about any volunteering you have done is also an important part of a high school resume. Again this shows something about your character and demonstrates that you are going to be a great addition to their team. And the time you spend putting a resume together is never a waste because you can include it in your college application packets as well!

Take notes when searching for a part time job.

Research the company

At this point your perfect application has been reviewed and your high school resume has gotten the attention of the hiring manager. Dressing well has made a great first impression when you dropped off the application and you have gotten an interview! Now what?

Make sure to take the time to research the company before you go to the interview. Read a little about how the company got started, what their mission statement is, and how they invest back into their community. Having even a basic knowledge about the business will help you be more prepared for the interview.

Many times at the end of an interview you will be asked if you have any questions about the job or about the company. You can’t ask an intelligent question if you know nothing about the business! Once you have done a little research write down a few questions that you can ask during the interview. This small time investment really shows that you want the job. Looking super smart is just an added bonus!

 Practice your interviewing skills when looking for a part time job.


If you are anything like me you are going to be really nervous when it comes time for the interview. The good thing is that the person interviewing you understands! However, you still need to make an effort to do the very best you can to be confident, know the right things to say, and be well prepared.

The best way to do this is to practice. Ask a parent or a friend to sit down with you. Let them ask the questions an interviewer might ask and practice answering. It would be even better if you did this with more than one person. You can even look up what the most popular job interview questions are so you know what to expect and can practice answering those specific questions.

There is no way you can anticipate everything they might ask but a little practice will go a long way to helping you be as prepared as you can possibly be!

These steps will go a long way to ensure that you get a great part time job. Being persistent is also a big factor in determining if you get a job or not. You can’t just go in once, drop off an application, and get the job the next day. You might have to go in ten times to prove how serious you are but it will be worth it in the long run!

Looking to land your first part-time job? Don't miss these super practical tips for how to wow your potential employer, nail your interview, and finally hear those magic words you've been waiting for--you're hired!



Eva Baker founded TeensGotCents to help herselfEva Baker founded TeensGotCents. and other teens discover tips and advice on preparing for a stable financial future. When not discussing smart shopping, handling high school and college expenses, finding a part time job and getting the most out of life, you will find her cuddling her cat, watching Netflix, or pinning ideas for her wedding. You can connect with her on Facebook and Pinterest!




  1. Ruth Soukup
    February 23 at 09:55AM

    I love these tips! As an employer, I can honestly say that you nailed it in this post. It never ceases to amaze me how many people come to an interview completely unprepared, looking unprofessional and knowing nothing about the company. It does make a difference! Thanks so much for sharing this amazing guest post, Eva. So glad to have met you, and so happy to have you here at LWSL today! xoxo, Ruth

    • February 23 at 02:37PM

      Thanks for the opportunity Ruth. Your insight and help have been a real encouragement to me and I am working on implementing all of the ideas you had for TeensGotCents even now. I can’t wait to show you the new design when we unveil it in a month or so!

  2. February 23 at 10:03AM

    I know that volunteering can often lead to a position in itself for teens (and adults), and so I would suggest (as you did) that this becomes a first step before one is ready to seek part-time work…maybe in those non-driving years volunteer:)

    • February 23 at 02:39PM

      So true Stacey! A number of my friends and even my brother have all landed great jobs because of their volunteer work!

  3. Barbara
    February 23 at 11:13AM

    As an employer of teens and young adults, if your parent calls to tell me you are looking for a job and inquire about openings you will not be hired. Period.

    • February 23 at 02:41PM

      I’m so glad you said this Barbara. I have actually overheard a dad talking to a manager at a local grocery store about giving his son a job – while the son stood there looking at his shoes!!! I was dying on the inside and thinking that he was probably not going to get the job. Teens need to learn to do all of this themselves!

  4. Barbara
    February 23 at 02:47PM

    Funny story. I work at a church day care and we interviewed a young lady in her late teens. When asked what she liked to do in her spare time she answered ” I love to read”. We asked what are you currently reading to which she replied ” Fifty Shades of Grey”. uhhhh awkward moment. The moral to this is think ahead how you might answer basic questions like this.

    • Ruth Soukup
      February 23 at 03:19PM

      LOL oh my goodness Barbara, it is a good thing I wasn’t drinking coffee or I would have spit it all over my computer! I’m still laughing….

    • Chris
      March 1 at 03:50PM

      Although, that could be a golden opportunity to find out about not only the girl’s character, but her maturity level and her education. If you follow up with her title of the book, you could have delved a little deeper into her opinions of the book and its writing. The actual writing in the book is extremely poor and on a very elementary level. If she could have mentioned that to you on her own, I’d say that would be a plus for her!

  5. February 24 at 07:10AM

    I would add, if you do not hear back from a company you interviewed with a week ago, even if it is just a part time job at a sandwich shop, make sure to call and follow-up. If you fill out an application and do not hear back, always follow-up with a phone, not an email, a call. This got me one of my first jobs (you guessed it, at a sandwich shop). I hadn’t heard back, so I took the initiative to call. My soon to be manager was impressed, and just happened to have a new opening. When I filled out the application, they were not hiring so she didn’t call. If I hadn’t have taken this step, I would have been just another resume in the pile. I stayed there for three years, working my way up to Manager. Making this call shows that you are truly interested and there is something about speaking directly with someone. I work in customer service, and the phone is the only way to really connect with someone in the business world if you ask me.

    • February 24 at 09:49AM

      Great advice Nikki! Following up is so important especially now when it is so hard to get a job in the first place. You really need to make yourself stand out from the crowd!

  6. March 2 at 08:42PM

    Great advice! When I was looking for my first job I filled out my application as neatly as possible (my mom would tell me to make copies of the application and practice on the copy first! That way if I made a mistake it was on the copy, then I would transfer it all over without any mistakes!). Definitely should have done some research on the company because when they would ask, I would say “no”. But I still got the job!

    Going to pass along the information to my little sister, as she is beginning to look for her first job!

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  8. Nina
    February 26 at 07:49PM

    I’m a single mom and student at the same time. Yep, I am. It’s not an easy thing but freelance jobs are just perfect for me. For handling my studying process I’ve checked the list of the best essay writing services on and without a doubt ordered my paperwork. I realized that I’m good enough too. Now searching for the copywriter or editor job so I can spend more time with my kid.

  9. Jane Summers
    March 5 at 05:04AM

    Sometimes it’s hard to get even a part-time job without a well-written resume. prime essay resume writing service will help you to produce a perfect resume so you will be sure you’ll get the position you want.

  10. Greg Bjorg
    March 22 at 10:32AM

    Thank you for the provided information. This is extremely relevant for me because I am the last year student and I had to write my paper. I really suck in writing. So I need money to buy a good paper on Now I am sure I manage to do that

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