Getting a Job

Step one: Identify which job you want. This job must be realistic and one that you can do right now in terms of your ability and hours. You don’t want to compromise your school work. Think about your own work related skills, background, and education. For step 1, you don’t need to find a job opening; just identify the type of job that you are qualified for and interested in. Most people don’t stay in their first job, but they use all the experience they can gather in order to build on that for the next job - improving on one’s people skills, computer skills, phone skills, multitasking, etc. But don’t think you can’t apply for an office job or a retail job if you haven’t worked those jobs before. Be confident. If you think you can handle it, at least try applying for it.

Step two: Your task in step 2 is to find the specific requirements listed in the job description for the job you want. You’ll then use that key information in steps 3–6.

Step three: Identify your own skills and work achievements. As you make this list, compare them with the job requirements. Hopefully these skills and requirements matchup as well as possible and if not it would be better to look for a more suitable job.

Step four: Write a customized résumé. This way, your résumé will show the recruiter or hiring manager how well suited you are for the job. You don’t need to change the same core data that you’ll include on all your résumés, like your employment history (list any job experience like mowing lawns and babysitting if you don’t have much experience yet), your school information, and your current contact information. Only the skills and accomplishments will be customized for the individual job. Descriptive verbs such as “researched,” “developed,” “produced,” “managed,” and so on before each skill will make the résumé sound better. 

Step five: Find employers who are now hiring people for the job you want. Check employers’ websites and career websites. A great website for this is called Also network and contact a lot of different people to ask them whether they know of any jobs related to the position you’re looking to fill. Remember to give your contact information to all the people as you network daily. You will have to  memorize your social security number now if you haven’t done so already. You will need to fill in your social security number into applications for a job. Don’t write down this number anywhere, learn it by heart, don’t give it to anyone else but a job application, a bank or a credit card company. You need to be very protective of your social security number because identity theft can wreak havoc on your credit history and your life. 

Step six: Drop off your résumé in person with the potential employer or send them off by mail. If you go by in person, make sure to dress appropriately as if you were going in for an interview. Either way, make sure you are well prepared for the interview. Sometimes when you send out your résumés, the recruiter will ask for an interview a lot sooner than you had planned on therefore it is better to be prepared . Some questions they might ask you are: 

What are your strengths and your weaknesses?

What problem did you have in a former job that you would now handle differently?

What are your salary requirements?

What would you like to be doing in five years?

Besides looking at your résumé, employers might also look at your social media. Check your social media now. It is good to make sure you have nothing objectionable or offensive on your social media when it comes to images and language when you’re looking for a job. Colleges you’re applying for will also look at your social media and will quickly disqualify you for any potentially offensive posts or pictures. It is also important to show and market yourself during an interview. You should highlight the skills and experience you have that would make you an ideal candidate. Always ask questions during and after the interview to show interest and to make a good impression. Before sending in your  résumé, be sure to proofread and then have a friend proofread it. There are even editing software apps for résumés. Prepare for the interview before you go in and dress for the job you want. After the interview, always send a thank you card. A recent study has found that 86 percent of hiring managers believe not sending a thank you card shows a lack of follow through. In the note thank the employer for their time and write about something you learned about during the interview.

If you are under 18 years of age, you might need working papers which are officially called  "Employment/Age Certificates." Check your state on the website below to see if you need this. You don’t need this certificate for ages 14-17 in the state of Oregon for instance. To get one of these certificates, visit your nearest employment exchange office in your area and fill out the required application form. Once you’ve done this, write a résumé and be prepared to complete a job application. On this application you’ll need:

  • Contact information (address and phone number)

  • Social Security Number

  • Educational background

  • Extracurricular activities

  • Skills related to the job

  • Availability (days and hours)

  • Previous jobs and employer contact information (if you have work experience)

  • Salary history (if you have work experience)

  • References (typically three)

If you’d rather work for yourself and create your own business, here are some ideas of jobs. Be careful where you advertise your business. You don’t want to make yourself vulnerable to the public. Also make sure you have good work ethic and follow up because word of mouth can spread fast if you don’t do your job 100 %.


-Dog Walker

-Lawn mower                                                                                  

-House cleaner

-House sitter  

-House organizer

-Pet sitter      


-Car washer

-Errand runner

No matter what you end up doing as a first or second or third job, have fun with it. Our first jobs won’t make us rich, but they’re so important to build on our experiences and our abilities. They’ll teach us we like to do and what we would like to pursue further with future jobs, and maybe tell us what aspects of a job we don’t want to ever deal with again. 

Some great apps to use for finding jobs are:


-Task Rabbit



Website tips:

“How to Get a Job.” Glassdoor Blog,

Doyle, Alison. “How to Get a Job in High School.” The Balance Careers, The Balance Careers, 23 Nov. 2019,

Doyle, Alison. “15 Quick Tips to Get Hired Fast.” The Balance Careers, The Balance Careers, 22 Feb. 2020,

“Employment/Age Certificate.” U.S. Department of Labor,

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