How do teens get jobs these days?

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
176 posts
Blushing bee

Over here waitressing is a lot worse/pays less than retail and has terrible hours. Perhaps a supermarket/checkout chick job? 🙂 
These days it’s a combination of resume dropping (pound the pavement) and applying online. Good luck to your daughter!  

Post # 4
9 posts

Younger bee here, I had 3 interviews before I landed my first job, two I applied online and the other a friend set it up which really helps. Advice is apply online as often as you can, at first I didn’t hear back at all , then the three places called back at the same time almost. And if either of you know someone who works at a restaurant ask if they can recommend you.

Post # 5
148 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

The only way I was able to get my first few jobs was being persistent!


1. I would do the traditional “pound the pavement” route and have her ask to speak to whoever manages hiring at each store. That way, she can interact with the person who would be hiring her before she applies.

2. Then, have her fill out the applications in person, on the spot when she can. Any places that require online applications, she should do as soon as you get home.

3. In a day or two, have her call back to each place she applied and ask to speak to ________ (whoever she interacted with while pounding the pavement). If she has the opportunity to speak to that person, all she has to do is mention meeting him/her the other day and ask if he/she has had the chance to look over her application.

4. If the person she spoke with isn’t there or isn’t available to answer the phone, have her call again the following day. 


As obvious as that advice sounds, it makes a world of difference when you’re 16-years-old and competing against a million and one other teenagers with comparable work experience. The only thing she can do is make herself stand out. By being persistent, she’s already showing a stronger work ethic than 90% of the other applicants 😉

Back in high school, the only way I got my third job at my local grocery market (which actually paid really well) was calling to the point where it was easier for the hiring manager to set up an interview with me than to have me calling every few days. I ended up getting hired on the spot, and during the hiring paperwork, he showed me the database of online applications for that store alone. There was upwards of 2,000 on file. 


Post # 6
3557 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@FutureMrsO_MyImSoLucky:  This is pretty much perfect. I also learned as a teen that if you are getting lectured in the interview rather than asked questions you probably got the job. Heck I’m starting my reserach career and this still holds true. They don’t take time to intensively explain company policy to someone they are not going to hire.

Post # 7
416 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

When I was in high school, I taught swim lessons.  I was a swimmer, so I practiced at the pools that taught lessons, and that was my in there.  I then got babysitting jobs for a bunch of the kids I taught.  Right after high school, I then got a job hostessing at a restaurant (easier than getting into waitressing, less competitive).  At my interview, I asked if before the summer was out, if they would let me work a few shifts as a server, so I could say I had experience and thus get other waitressing jobs in the future.  I’d definitely recommend that, because working in restaurants is really easy to get into in a new town, provided you have experience already, and usually the nights/weekends are easy to work around school/internships.  Another option would be having her get into volunteering, which teaches a lot of the same skills (accountability, teamwork, etc) and will look great on college applications.  Good luck!

Post # 8
182 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I got a job at McDonalds right after I turned 15. I went in and asked for an application. I think they have since switched to online applications. If your daughter applies to a place that has online applications and doesn’t hear anything back within a few days, she should go there during non-peak hours and ask to speak to a manager. Some other types of jobs could be retail, waitressing, pet stores, camp counselor (especially for the summer and if your daughter has interest in anyhting with children as a career), lifeguard, coach, etc.

Post # 9
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@Carolsays:  There are a few options where teens usually have the best luck.  The more improtant thing is to set ground rules about school work and grades before giving her the privilege of working.  Going to school is her first job unless she is a really terrible student and she needs the work experience to make sure she has something to do after graduation.

Grocery stores are my top recommendation if she can’t find a part time office job.  They close relatively early and at least part of the day on most major holidays.

I worked at the mall but honestly we never hired anyone under 18 because we didn’t want to deal with kids.  A friend of mine in HS worked for Penney’s and ended up quitting after they worked her late nights off the clock to stock shelves.

As for waitressing, she will likely be better off applying for a hostess position at her age.  The problem with these types of jobs is that most restaurants are open every day, even holidays and she may have to work late nights due shift priority.

As for fast food, try to pick one that isn’t open 24 hours because the managers will sometimes work students late night shifts.  I suggest Chik-fil-A personally because friends worked for them and said it’s a good company to work for and they know they will always have Sundays and holidays off for family time.

Is she motivated and intelligent?  Then she can probably make more money by tutoring other kids.  She can command more money than babysitting if she regularly tutors a kid a few afternoons per week.  I charged $20 an hour, 3 hour minimum per week.

Post # 10
2117 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I worked at a pharmacy in high school. I got the job by walking in and asking for an application. The person I happened to ask was the owner of the pharmacy and he gave me an interview on the spot! He ended up offering me the job the very same day. I would definitely suggest having your daughter go into places (stores, restaurants, whatever) rather than applying online. Some places will just tell her to fill out their application online, but it’s always worth asking!


Post # 11
1625 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@Carolsays:  most places will NOT hire a 16 year old for a serving job, especially if they serve alcohol. The best way for her to “break in” to serving would be to get a hostess job at a restaurant and then hope they consider her for a serving job a couple of years down the road. 

I think a combination of going into places and asking if theyre hiring/filling out applications online is the best way to go.

Post # 12
1327 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Other PPs have some great tips.  One other option is that she should ask around to her friends that have jobs, if they’re employers are hiring.  That’s how I got my first job.  Having a current employee vouch for you can help overcome the lack of experience.

Post # 13
602 posts
Busy bee

You don’t. >.>;

I’m in college, and have been trying to get a job since August. I lost count of the places that I applied to, both paper and online, and the only inteview I got was a week ago, and only becaus they were doing open intrviews that day! Sheesh.

Legitimate advice: Every job I had as a teen, I was either working in the same place as my mum, helping out, or the one job that was on my own, was done through a family friend.

Post # 14
1765 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@Carolsays:  i worked at a fast food joint while i took a CNA class…alot of my friends worked at various shops around town (like clothing stores), grocery stores, the library stacking books….theres alot more out there then waitressing…sometimes nursinghomes will hire highschool kids to help with activities and work in the kitchen….

Post # 15
885 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Does she have friends with jobs?  I remember a lot of people from my highschool worked at the banquet halls in town, and many of them got jobs through a friend who already worked there (they hire tons of teenagers as servers and bus boys).

Post # 16
844 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I got my first job at 17, and it was as a checkout girl at a new supermarket opening up, They had a temp store and were handing out applications so I went in, got one, and filled it out on the spot. So keep a look out for any new businesses opening because they’ll probably need part timers.

Leave a comment

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors