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Tips for Landing Your First Job

Staff looking at laptop while writing in diary at bakery counter

To make money, you first need a job. Mowing lawns or babysitting is fine, but when you want to make some serious cash, you might need to go out and find employment. We’ve put together some tips to help you land that first job.

Verify Your Eligibility
In Oregon and Washington, anyone under 18 can work. But if you’re age 14 or under, a special employment permit is required.

Get Your Resume Ready
If you’ve never created a resume before, Google it. You’ll find a lot of examples and templates. The important thing about a resume is to be truthful about everywhere you’ve worked and everything you’ve done. But you also want to highlight your strengths. If you’ve won a soccer trophy, even if it was six years ago, list it. When you’re young, every accomplishment matters.

Clean Up Your Social Media
If you have questionable photos or posts online that could disqualify you from employment, delete them before you start your job finding adventure. Employers do an exhaustive search of social media to verify your identity and eliminate potential issues.

Dress Up
Sure, you want to dress nice for your interview, just not too nice. The goal is to dress similar to how the people who work there dress. If you’re interviewing for a fast-food place, wearing jeans and a clean shirt and shoes are a must.

Speak Up
Don’t mumble your way through the interview, whether it’s via Zoom, over the phone or in person. They want to know that you can speak up for yourself and the company you’ll represent. If you don’t, you likely won’t get hired.

Don’t Check Your Phone
Put your phone in your pocket and don’t look at your smartwatch during the interview. Employers want to know that you can go a few minutes without chatting with friends and checking social media.

InRoads is Here for You
Get more tips about finances and life as a teenager with Elements of Money from InRoads Credit Union.