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Step 5: Find a Job: MyMnCareerPlan

YOU can get a job with limited or no work experience.

Looking for a part-time or summer job may feel overwhelming. If you follow some basic actions (listed below) and stick with your job search, you'll get a job. Once you get work, you'll be able to:

  • Earn money to buy the things you want.
  • Have more independence and confidence.
  • Check out some career options (what you like and what you don't like).
  • Look good to colleges and future employers.

What are Your Skills?

Employers hire people for their skills. Do you know that you already have important skills that employers want? List them and use them to talk with people who are hiring.

  • Go back to the results of your skill assessment in step one. Which ones are your favorites?
  • List your skills and aptitudes, called transferrable skills, that you are naturally good at or that you've gained elsewhere.
  • People's jobs tend to be success or not based on their personal or soft skills.
  • Use your skills list and briefly describe how you demonstrate them (e.g., helped organize a school event, served as editor on year book, babysat for your siblings, volunteered at your church, etc.).

Where to Look for Jobs. Don't Give Up!

  • Start by seeing yourself working and believing you can get a job. Successful athletes do this all of the time. Imagine yourself working at a job. What are you doing? Who are you with? How does it feel to be there? Imagine yourself in different places and try on how that feels to you.
  • Get help finding part-time or summer jobs. Your school's guidance center may have opportunities. Also, local churches or community center may have job boards. MinnesotaHelp.info offers help in getting jobs or finding programs if you qualify. And, your local newspaper want ads or online job boards may have options near you.
  • Walk around your neighborhood and knock on doors. Check out malls, community centers, your city's park and recreational center, and yard care companies that you can walk to or get to on your bike or bus. Ask neighbors if they need help with things like yard care, babysitting, dog walking, house cleaning, or errands.

Be Cautious

  • Be aware of legal considerations.
    • In Minnesota, there are age restrictions for jobs for teens. Until you are 14, your work options are limited to things like newspaper carrier, athletic referee and possibly casual jobs you get for yourself. From 14 until 18, there are restrictions to which hours and how many hours you can work.
    • Minimum wage for teens, as of August 1, 2016, starts at $7.75 per hour.
  • Buyer beware. If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true. Be aware of scams, especially online job possibilities. Legitimate companies will follow laws about personal information they can legally gather.

Prepare for Job Searches

  • Know how to interview.
    Potential employers will not expect you to be perfect in an interview. But, they will expect that you take it seriously. Employers tend to hire people who are respectful and who can describe their skills and how these skills fit with the job. Look through job descriptions on any careers that fit you for skills and use these skills to describe what you can offer an employer. Also, be prepared for interviews and know how to dress and what questions they'll be likely to ask you.
  • Write a resume and prepare applications.
    Employers do not follow the same hiring process. Some will ask for an application. Others will want a resume and cover letter. And, others may want all three. Others may be impressed by an optional showcase of your work. They will not expect that your materials are not perfect. But they will look to see that you have put good thought into them.

Take Action

  • Update your MyMnCareerPlan Workbook (405KB, .pdf).
  • Fill in your Skills List with Examples.
  • Complete the Resume Sample.
  • Complete the Application Sample.
  • Fill in your responses to interview questions.
  • Next, manage your career.