Contrary to what you may think, there are many opportunities for teenagers to get a job. The youngest minimum age to get a part time job is 13. For full time work you must be of school-leaving age. In an age where even part time jobs are forming part of the competitive job market, it can be difficult to get a job as a teenager. Many of you may feel that you will not be able to have a competitive CV due to your age, but there are many things you can add to build up your CV.
The tips you’ll see in this article will give you more of an insight on what achievements you can include to make your CV stand out. Keep reading this article to make your CV the best it can be.
1. Education history
As a teenager your education history will be very limited. However, it can still be a huge selling point. If you are under 16 then you will be in the process of taking your GCSEs. Even if you have not completed your GCSEs yet, be sure to include the GCSE subjects you are taking and what your predicted grades are.
For some employers, the experience from your qualifications can be more important than the qualification grade itself. Of course, obtaining good grades will certainly put you at an advantage during the selection stage but that alone will not get you the job. When listing the GCSE subjects, mention the topics you have covered and the skills this has given you.
For example, if you are doing a GCSE in computer science, it is likely that you have come across coding languages like Python. Even if you have not excelled at Python to a professional standard, you can still mention this as an applicable skill you have acquired from your studies.
It is important to remember that at the end of the day, employers understand that your education history will not consist of degrees or equivalent nor will they expect you to complete tasks that require such education.
For information about the jobs available that only require a GCSE qualification or less, check out this article from CareerBuilder.
2. Extracurricular activities
Extracurriculars refer to activities that a student takes part in outside of the school curriculum. This can include sports, music etc. Many students will have taken part in extracurricular activities since a young age. The primary reason for this is so it can be mentioned on the personal statement to impress universities. It also impresses many employers.
When including your extracurricular activities, do not worry if you think they have no relevance to the job or company you are applying to.
Another way for an employer to assess your ability and character is through the dedication and hard work you have put into your extracurricular activity.
Ideally you would be taking part in activities that can be graded through examinations. For example, achieving a grade 8 in piano is seen as more valuable than playing the piano for leisure only. For help on finding the best extracurricular activities for students, I advise you to click here to take a look at PrepScholar blog to find a complete list.
3. Sporting achievements
Under the National Curriculum, PE is a compulsory subject that must be taken until age 16. When it comes to sports there are generally two different sets of people: the ones who loathe it, and the ones who live for it. If you fall into the latter category, you may be interested to hear that any sporting achievements you have can be listed on your CV.
By sporting achievements, I don’t mean winning a football match in your PE class. It is likely that most secondary schools will offer a sports club, often specialising in a specific sport. Joining this club is especially important as it will give you the chance to partake in events that will lead to sporting achievements. If your school does not offer this, there are plenty of community centres that do.
There are many great opportunities to show off your sporting skills. These include tournaments and classes where you can mentor fellow athletes and players.
The London Youth Games is one such example of organisations that help with this. For more than 40 years they have been helping young athletes compete in open games and intra-school games. These often come with a great prize incentive and are a great mention on your CV.
4. Achievements in school
For most students their studies at school will take up the bulk of their schedule, leaving them with little time to pursue other activities. This is why when considering achievements, you should look at the roles you have played in your school’s community. These can include being a prefect or being a part of your school committee.
If your school is registered with the Diana Award Anti Bullying Campaign ,you will be presented with many opportunities such as inter council meetings and project planning both within and outside school.
5. Work experience
There are lots of ways to get work experience as a teenager. This can be directly linked to the field you would like to enter in the future or not. Regardless, it will enhance your CV. Check out this article from Think Student to find out about the types of work experience you can take part in.
One thing I would like to point out is that you should avoid mentioning clichés when explaining your previous jobs/experience and do not exaggerate your role. If you feel that your role did not entail much, instead of mentioning what you did, elaborate more on what the job has offered you. This can be skills like money handling and data collection etc.
Visit this article on Think Student to find a list of part time jobs for students in the UK.
There is one licence that many teenagers crave for, and this is a driving licence. In fact, many employers find having a driving licence a desirable trait in applicants. There are still opportunities available to you if you have a provisional driver’s licence. Find out more about provisional driving licences by reading this article on Think Student.
According to a survey reported by Aceable, out of the teenagers who had a current job, 71% had completed their driver’s education whilst 19% did not. Having a driving licence makes you a desirable applicant as well as motivates you to get a job. Check out this link from gov.uk to see if you are eligible to get your provisional driving licence.
7. Language skills
The ability to communicate with as many people as possible is a skill that will get you very far in life. This is why many employers value language skills. Studies have shown that achieving fluency in multiple languages can improve your cognitive skills and your creativity as you are not only exposed to another language but also another culture.
Taking a language at school is common amongst the UK and some students may choose to pursue this further by taking a GCSE in a language. Languages like French and Spanish are amongst the most studied in school. However, there are lots of options to study Asian languages like Arabic and Chinese as well.
To learn more about taking a language at GCSE, check out this article from Think Student.
8. Online classes
Learning will never stop, even if it is outside of the classroom. Online classes are a great way for you to enhance your CV and hone your skills or develop new ones. These classes often have certificates of completion, sometimes coming along with a small fee or no fee.
The flexibility of these classes allows you to study in your own time and usually at your own pace. This comes particularly helpful during exam season. If you are interested in coding, visit this article on Think Student to find a top ten list of online coding courses.
You may wish to list your online classes as part of the Education section on your CV or as part of your Certificates. The choice is yours, but you should remember to be transparent and clear when you do so.
Online course providers like Coursera are a great way to begin. Check out this link to register now.
9. Published work
For any aspiring writers or artists out there, this is your chance to shine! Presenting your published work on a CV is excellent. There are many outlets for teenagers to show off their skills to the public. This includes newspaper articles or academic journals and many more.
If your school subjects consist of coursework, this is even better as it gives you the chance to demonstrate your ability to work on small-scale projects independently and then publish the results of.
Awards are a great way to give employers a general idea of how dedicated you are and display how much of an asset you can be to the company.
Awards are not always awarded for academic or sporting excellence. If you have a hobby that you spend a lot of time pursuing, you can check out any competitions you can enter. For example, if you like photography, the World Photo Organisation offers a youth competition.
This way you will not only be spending time doing an activity you love, but also be able to make your CV much more competitive.
Producing a well written CV as a teenager can be daunting. Remember there are more than 10 achievements you can list. I advise you to do some of your own research and learn more about what the job you are applying for entails. Tailor your CV for this job.
Good luck with your CV and job applications!