Securing Employment as a Teenager in Today’s Job Market

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Today’s job market and economy is tough.  It is taking a toll on job seekers from all experience levels, ranging from teenagers to high-level executives.

Because of this, many qualified job seekers are accepting lower-paying part-time jobs to make ends meet.  Even if they are considerably over-qualified for the job.

This “trickle-down” effect is making it more difficult for teenagers and students to secure part-time jobs.  Especially compared to the 1990s and early 2000s. As a teenager or student, how should you deal with the influx of higher-qualified candidates?

Below are a few tips and tricks to help improve your marketability to potential employers:


Securing a job as a teen in today's job market

Since the majority of teenagers are attending college or high school, their time is limited.  Therefore, they tend to gravitate towards part-time jobs that are close to home.

Nearly all part-time jobs require applicants to submit a job application, but very few ask for a resume. Here is your first opportunity to set yourself apart – by submitting a resume.

Although it is not required, submitting a resume can help distinguish you from other candidates by offering employers a professional depiction of your background and skills.


Securing a job as a teen in today's market

Hopefully you, after reading point #1 above, you have decided to submit a resume. But since your work experience and skills are limited, what should you include on the resume?

Since you are a student, you probably do not have a long list of career achievements.  So, your resume should emphasize your academic success and extracurricular activities.

Consider highlighting your GPA, academic awards, advanced-placement courses, sports-related achievements/affiliations, club memberships, and more.

Showing employers that you are capable of balancing responsibilities, managing your time well, and working with teams to achieve goals help make you look more marketable.


Highlight your skills as a teen in today's job market

Although you are a student, you still have a great set of skills that employers can utilize for their part-time positions. For instance, your ability to listen to instructions, prioritize assignments, and collaborate with your peers to complete projects are all desirable traits.

Perhaps the most desirable set of skills in today’s job market revolve around the ability to utilize computers, the internet, and various software applications.

Spend some time learning and perfecting your abilities with Microsoft Office and other popular software applications. Nearly all companies utilize Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other common programs for their daily operations. If you are proficient with these programs, you are automatically more qualified than several other applicants.

In summary, you have the skills necessary to compete for a great job.  It’s just a matter of uncovering, honing, and highlighting them. Submit a resume, whether required or not.  Focus on your academic success and technical abilities and your chances of landing a job are greatly increased.

Above all, never give up. Apply to as many part-time jobs as you can, because landing a job is a numbers game.  The more you apply to, the greater your chance is of receiving a call for an interview.

By Drew Roark, a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with expertise writing resumes for all industries and career levels. Drew is a National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA) member and the owner of

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