Job Search Tips For High School Students

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Finding a job is difficult as is, and finding one as a teenager in high school can be even more challenging. You are not only competing with other students but also competing with adults in your job search. This guide will help you prepare, get noticed, and hired. We will walk you through everything from finding the best jobs for high school students and companies hiring younger workers to obtaining working papers and knowing your rights.

Jobs for High School Students

There are tens of thousands of jobs to choose from, which can make your search overwhelming. To help you narrow down your search, here are nine school year jobs and five summer jobs.

School Year Jobs

  • Babysitter: Childcare workers provide care for children when parents and other family members are unavailable. Babysitting can be a great job because hours are often flexible, and clients usually pay in cash. If you are babysitting at night, you also have a chance to do your homework once the children you are watching go to sleep.

  • Dog Walker: If you like animals, walking dogs can be a great part-time job. You can walk one dog or schedule multiple walks at the same time. You can also pet sit for extra money.

  • Driver: For high school students with a driver’s license, becoming a part-time driver can be a great side gig. You can run errands for others or help out individuals who have difficulty getting around.

  • House Cleaner: House cleaners clean client’s houses. If you cannot find people who need their homes cleaned, you can work as a cleaner for a company or hotel.

  • Landscaper: Grounds maintenance workers ensure that the grounds of houses, businesses, and parks are attractive, orderly, and healthy to provide a pleasant outdoor environment. You can work for a company or invest in your own lawnmower and ask people in your neighborhood if they need someone to mow their lawns. If you live in an area where it snows, you can offer to shovel driveways and walkways.

  • Paper Deliverer: A paper deliverer distributes newspapers to customers. While people are increasingly going digital, there are still some jobs for paper deliverers.

  • Retail: Retail workers sell retail merchandise. High school students often work at grocery stores, clothing stores, and restaurants. Some retail jobs include being a cashier, inventory manager, sales associate, security guard, store manager, and more. Working at a restaurant is one of the more popular options among high school students. At a restaurant, you can be a busser, dishwasher, waiter, hostess, or a member of the kitchen crew.

  • Tutor: A Tutor is a private teacher who teaches a single student or a small group. They travel to students’ homes, libraries, or schools to conduct tutoring sessions. Tutoring is also a great way to go back over your basics and re-learn the fundamentals of a topic. Some say that the best way to learn is to teach.

  • Work-Life-Balance: Volunteer:

Summer Jobs for Teens

  • Camp Counselor: Camp counselors supervise camp activities and work with campers at day camps or sleepaway camps. They often lead and instruct campers in a variety of outdoor activities, such as swimming, hiking, horseback riding, and nature study. Counselors also provide guidance and supervise daily living and socialization. There are also specialized summer camps that focus on specific sports, hobbies, religions, academic subjects, and other activities.

  • Golf Course Worker/Caddie: If you like golf, working at a golf course can be a great summer job. A gold caddied carries an individual’s bag and clubs. Caddies can also advise golfers. If you give good advice, you can often get larger tips.

  • Lifeguard: Lifeguards supervise individuals swimming. There are many lifeguard jobs available during the summer. To be a lifeguard, you often need to receive a certification, which can be costly.

  • Nanny: Childcare workers provide care for children when parents and other family members are unavailable. More nannying jobs become available during the summer because children are no longer in school.

  • Umpire/Referee: Umpires, referees, and other sports officials preside over competitive athletic or sporting events to help maintain standards of play. They detect infractions and decide penalties according to the rules of the game. Working as an umpire or referee can be a lot of fun, especially if you have played the sport you are an umpire or referee for.

Over 9 in 10 recruiters say they are likely to look at a candidate’s social media behavior.

Companies That Hire Highschool Students

Finding companies that will hire younger students can be challenging. Some companies list the minimum age that the applicant must be. Make sure to check the age requirement before you apply to make sure you qualify. Here are 16 companies that hire individuals who are 14-18. Each company has a Zippia score of 4.5 or higher, which combines a company’s salary, diversity, and performance score. For each company below, Zippia lets you look at their team, read through reviews, rankings, salaries, career, demographics, political affiliation, competitors, and more.

Adidas – Age: 16 – Zippia Score: 4.5

Adidas North America, Inc. manufactures sports apparel and footwear. The staff at Adidas North America come from diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 39.6% female and 41.9% ethnic minorities. It has an unusually high proportion of employees who are members of the Democratic Party, at 78.9%.

Aeropostale – Age: 16, Zippia Score: 4.6

Aeropostale, Inc. is an American shopping mall-based specialty retailer of casual apparel and accessories. The staff at Aeropostale come from diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 57.9% female and 42.3% ethnic minorities. It has an unusually high proportion of employees who are members of the Democratic Party, at 80.0%.

American Eagle – Age: 16, Zippia Score: 4.7

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., now known as simply American Eagle, is an American lifestyle clothing and accessories retailer, headquartered in the Southside Works Neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The staff at American Eagle Outfitters come from diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 60.3% female and 39.6% ethnic minorities. It has an unusually high proportion of employees who are members of the Democratic Party, at 87.5%.

Applebee’s – Age: 16, Zippia Score: 4.7

Based in the United States, Applebee’s is an industry leader with 32,600 employees. They are a bar and grill restaurant chain that focuses of casual dining and mainstream American dishes. The staff at Applebee’s come from diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 53.7% female and 34.5% ethnic minorities. It has an unusually high proportion of employees who are members of the Democratic Party, at 75.0%.

Bed, Bath and Beyond – Age: 16, Zippia Score: 4.5

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. is a North American chain of domestic merchandise retail stores. The staff at Bed Bath & Beyond come from diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 56.9% female and 40.1% ethnic minorities. Bed Bath & Beyond employees are more likely to be members of the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, with 57.1% of employees identifying as members of the Democratic Party.

Best Buy – Age: 16-18, Zippia Score: 4.8

Best Buy Co., Inc. is an American multinational consumer electronics retailer headquartered in Richfield, Minnesota. The staff at Best Buy come from diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 32.5% female and 40.5% ethnic minorities. It has an unusually high proportion of employees who are members of the Democratic Party, at 69.3%.

Burger King – Age: 15-16, Zippia Score: 4.5

Burger King is an American global chain of hamburger fast-food restaurants. The staff at Burger King come from diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 48.7% female and 36.9% ethnic minorities. Burger King employees are more likely to be members of the Republican Party than the Democratic Party, with 59.7% of employees identifying as members of the Republican Party.

CVS – Age: 16, Zippia Score: 4.8

CVS Health Corporation is an American retail pharmacy and Pharmacy Benefit Manager headquartered in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. The staff at CVS Health come from diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 62.2% female and 42.5% ethnic minorities. CVS Health employees are more likely to be members of the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, with 63.9% of employees identifying as members of the Democratic Party.

KFC – Age: 16-18, Zippia Score: 4.5

KFC, or commonly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, is a fast-food restaurant chain that specializes in fried chicken. The staff at KFC Enterprises come from diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 47.4% female and 37.2% ethnic minorities. KFC Enterprises employees are more likely to be members of the Republican Party than the Democratic Party, with 60.0% of employees identifying as members of the Republican Party.

Marshalls – Age: 16, Zippia Score: 4.5

Marshalls is a chain of American off-price department stores owned by TJX Companies. Marshalls is the U.S.’s second largest off-price family apparel and home fashion retailer, behind its sister company, TJ Maxx. The staff at Marshall’s come from diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 56.7% female and 42.4% ethnic minorities. Marshall’s employees are more likely to be members of the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, with 59.0% of employees identifying as members of the Democratic Party.

PetSmart – Age: 16, Zippia Score: 4.6

PetSmart Inc. is an American retail chain operating in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico that is engaged in the sale of pet animal products and services such as dog grooming and dog training, cat and dog boarding facilities, and daycare. The staff at PetSmart come from unusually diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 56.8% female and 37.3% ethnic minorities. PetSmart employees are more likely to be members of the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, with 62.7% of employees identifying as members of the Democratic Party.

Publix – Age: 14-16, Zippia Score: 4.6

Publix Super Markets, Inc., commonly known as Publix, is an employee-owned, American supermarket chain headquartered in Lakeland, Florida. The staff at Publix come from diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 41.6% female and 42.2% ethnic minorities. Publix employees are slightly more likely to be members of the Republican Party than the Democratic Party, with 56.4% of employees identifying as members of the Republican Party.

Staples – Age: 16-18, Zippia Score: 4.7

Staples Inc. is a Massachusetts-based retail company. It is primarily involved in the sale of office supplies and related products via retail channels and business-to-business-oriented delivery operations. The staff at Staples come from diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 39.2% female and 38.4% ethnic minorities. Staples employees are more likely to be members of the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, with 55.3% of employees identifying as members of the Democratic Party.

Target – Age: 16-18, Zippia Score: 4.7

Target Corporation is the eighth-largest retailer in the United States. The staff at Target come from diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 47.5% female and 39.7% ethnic minorities. It has an unusually high proportion of employees who are members of the Democratic Party, at 67.7%.

Walmart – Age: 16-18, Zippia Score: 4.9

Walmart Inc. is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. The staff at Walmart come from diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 47.3% female and 37.5% ethnic minorities. The diversity in Walmart employees extends to employee political beliefs. Its employees are politically diverse and represent a relatively balanced blend of political orientations, with 47.2% Democrats and 51.9% Republicans.

Wawa – Age: 16, Zippia Score: 4.8

Wawa, Inc. is an American chain of convenience stores and gas stations located along the East Coast of the United States, operating in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Florida. The staff at Wawa come from diverse demographic backgrounds. The company is 49.9% female and 36.2% ethnic minorities. Wawa employees are more likely to be members of the Republican Party than the Democratic Party, with 56.6% of employees identifying as members of the Republican Party.

How to find a job

There are several ways that you can look for employment. In this article, we talked about jobs for high school students and companies hiring high school students. If you are still stuck and cannot find a job, here are five things you can do.

  1. Cold Calling: Cold calling a company can be very effective. Yesware has a great article with 25 cold calling tips that you can use to get a meeting with anyone.

  2. Flyers: Flyers are a great way to promote yourself and find a job. You can create a flyer for several employment offerings, including tutoring and babysitting. Make sure to include your contact information on the flyer. You can put these up in local restaurants with bulletin boards, on street posts, at religious centers, and other places.

  3. Help Wanted Signs: Keep your eye out for help wanted signs around your neighborhood. Do not be afraid to walk in with your resume and ask to speak to a manager.

  4. Personal Connection: You can use personal connections to find employment opportunities. Ask your friends and family if they know anyone who is hiring and willing to employ a younger high school student.

  5. Zippia: Zippia has an incredible job search tool that allows you to select from things like the kind of job you want, the company you want to work for, and your highest level of education. You can choose that you are looking for a part-time job and that you have not yet completed high school. Entry level.

General Tips To Help You Land The Job

There are several steps that you should to take in order prepare for your job search. Here are six suggestions that will help you get a great job.

  1. Clean Up Your Social Media: 70 % of employers use social networking sites to screen candidates, according to Career Builder. Don’t worry. You do not have to go and delete all of your social media accounts. In fact, 47% of employers said that they would not interview a person if they could not find them online, according to Business News Daily. Consider reading through these tips to get your social media profiles ready for your internship search.

  2. Get References: Find three to four references that can attest to your work ethic and character. Meet with them in person and talk to them about what jobs you are interested in. You should always keep them in the loop with your job search so that they are not caught off guard when an employer contacts them about you.

  3. Have a Great Cover Letter: Many employers request a cover letter. Even if the job says that it is optional, you should submit one. There are actionable cover letter tips that will help you land your first job and mistakes that you should avoid. Zippia has an article with additional tips to help you write an incredible cover letter.

  4. Prepare for an Interview: Preparing for an interview in advance is extremely important. Zippia has a great article on how to prepare for an interview that goes over everything from possible interview questions to what to wear.

  5. Send A Thank You Email: Writing a thank you note after your interview is important. Not only is it considerate, but it gives you another chance to remind the interviewer of how great you are and how you would be a perfect fit for the position. Be aware of thank you letter mistakes and read through some great examples and tips on how to write the perfect thank you letter.

  6. Write a great resume: Having a good resume is essential. Most interviewers spend 6 seconds going over your resume. That is not a lot of time to make a lasting impression. To make sure that your resume does not get tossed out in the first few seconds, read through this article on 30 fail-proof ways to write a resume that wows.

76% of resumes are discarded for an unprofessional email address.

Working Papers

Some states require youth under 18 years old to have working papers, also called “Employment/Age Certificates.” You can often obtain these papers from your school or department of labor.

  • Employment/Age Certification: The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has a table that outlines employment/age certification for each state. You can look at the table to see if your state requires certification from the state department of labor, your school, or both. It also has information on the age a minor has to be to get that certification.

  • Where to get working papers: You may need working papers to obtain employment. You can sometimes get these papers from your school or your state’s department of labor. You can look through the DOL’s table to see what documentation your state requires. Some states do not require certification, so make sure to look at the table and find out.

  • Required Documentation: States require different documentation for getting a work permit approved. The Balance Careers has a great page on work permits for minors that outlines many things including required documentation which includes:

    1. A Parent or legal guardians’ signature. They might need to come to get the working papers and submit them.
    2. Document showing your age like a birth certificate, license, or school record.
    3. Physical fitness certification from your physician
    4. o Working papers from your state’s department of labor or your school.

Child Labor Laws

Laws and regulations prevent individuals below a certain age from legally working. There are also certain hours that minors are allowed to work. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets wages, hours worked, and safety requirements for individuals under 18-year old. States also have their own laws. YouthRules! allows you to choose your state or territory from a map and view your rights. To make things a little less confusing, here are six common questions about FLSA answered.

How Many Hours Can You work?

14 and 15-year-olds can work for three hours on a school day, eight hours on a non-school day, up to 18 hours in a school week, 40 hours in a non-school week. They can work from 7 AM to 7 PM. From June 1 through Labor Day, they can work an additional 2 hours a day from 7 AM to 9 PM. There is no limit to the number of hours or times of day individuals 16 years and older can work.

How old do you have to be to work?

The minimum age of employment under the FLSA is 14 years old for most non-agricultural work. “At any age, youth may deliver newspapers; perform in radio, television, movie, or theatrical productions; work in businesses owned by their parents (except in mining, manufacturing or hazardous); and perform babysitting or perform minor chores around a private home,” according to dol.gov

What happens if you work for your parents or legal guardian?

There is no minimum age requirement for minors who are employed by their parents or legal guardian. Exceptions are made for mining, manufacturing, and other employment with a minimum age requirement of 18 years old.

What is the federal minimum wage?

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Some states have different minimum wage laws. Employers are entitled to the higher of the two wages.

Where are you allowed to work?

 Individuals under 18 years old cannot work in any hazardous occupation. Some prohibited occupations include mining, excavation, and other jobs that involve operating power-driven equipment. Some industries make exceptions and allow minors to perform tasks at worksites that are not deemed dangerous. You can learn more about occupations are considered hazardous at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Who is covered under FLSA?

This act covers all employees of certain enterprises. You can find out if the FLSA covers you at the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Know Your Rights

Your safety and comfort both in and out of your workplace is extremely important. There are several laws and resources that you should be familiar with outlined below.

  • Discrimination: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate against individuals on the bases of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. Title VII protects individuals who complain about discrimination, file a charge, or participate in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

  • Know Your General Rights: YouthRules! has a section on their website about knowing what your employer can and cannot require you to do. YouthRules! gives you the option to select your age group to see what rules apply to you. You can also learn about regulations about workplace hazards, agricultural jobs, and immigrant rights.

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Federal law mandates your employer to provide you with a safe workplace free of known health and safety hazards. You also have several other rights, including being trained in a language you understand and provided with required safety gear. For a full list of your writes and information on when and where to file a complaint, you can go to the U.S. Department of Labor’s page. You can contact OSHA toll-free at 1-800-321-6742, submit a question to their contact page, or find a local office.

  • State Labor Laws: The U.S. Department of Labor has a page designated to state labor laws. You can look through state labor offices, state minimum wage laws, state child labor laws, and other state labor laws.

  • State Labor Offices: The U.S. Department of Labor has a list of labor office contact information for state labor offices across the country.

  • Wage And Hour Division Complaints: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has a resource on how to file a complaint. If you have questions, you can reach them at 1-866-487-9243 or www.dol.gov/whd, where you can find your nearest WHD office.

Resources

There are dozens of resources online that help high school students find jobs, understand workplace safety, and balance schoolwork with employment. Here are some of the best resources out there that you should consider looking through.

  • Balancing School and Work: Finding a balance between your schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and your job can be difficult. The following three resources will help you find that balance.

    1. School-work Balance: eCampusTours.com has a great article about how to balance being in high school and having a part-time job. They talk about having a support system, scheduling, prioritizing, staying organized, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and more.
    2. Self-Care Tips for High School Students: InGenius Prep has a great article on self-care tips. High school can be a challenging time and having a job on top of what a typical high school student is going through can make things even harder. It is important to practice self-care like maintaining a regular sleep schedule, eating well, exercising, and making time for your friends.
    3. Self-Care Video Series: YouTube is another great resource to learn about self-care. The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds has a video series on self-care where they talk to high school students about stresses in their lives and how they practice self-care.

  • Workplace Safety: It is important to be informed about safety since individuals with limited to no prior work experience who have limited safety training can have high injury rates. Here are three resources that will help you learn more about workplace safety.

    1. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH): NIOSH is a research agency that focusses on work safety, health, and empowering employers and workers to create safe and healthy workplaces. They have research programs, data and statistics, and publications and products about workplace safety and health. They have resources on safety & prevention, hazards & exposure, chemicals, industries & occupations, and more.
    2. Young Worker Safety and Health: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a page dedicated to work-related injuries for young workers. It is available in both English and Spanish.
    3. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): OSHA has a safety campaign for young workers. OSHA fights for safe and rewarding work experiences for all. Their site helps youth prevent job-related injuries and illnesses. They have sections on real stories, hazards, and resources.

  • Youth Training Opportunities and Programs: Finding a job on your own can be challenging. Here are three resources that will help you get on the right pathway to employment.

    1. Work Experience and Career Exploration Program (WECEP): WECEP allows 14 and 15-year-olds to obtain employment where it would otherwise be prohibited. These youth can gain meaningful work experience and receive career-oriented education. This program helps those at risk of leaving school to find motivation and continue their education.
    2. WIOA Youth Formula Program: This employment program is available to youth aged 14-21 years old who face barriers to education, training, and employment.
    3. YouthBuild: This community-based pre-apprenticeship program is available to at-risk youth 16-32 years old who have previously dropped out of high school. Youth can learn vocational skills in in-demand industries.

  • Additional Resources Here are four additional resources to take a look at.

    1. Services by Location: The U.S. Department of Labor has a guide to local and regional DOL programs and services. You can select your state and see all of the services offered in your area.
    2. YouthRules!: This initiative promotes positive and safe work experiences for youth. They have a website, printed materials, training seminars, and outreach events available to all. They have a Young Workers Toolkit that has information to help you make the most of your work experience.
    3. Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP): ODEP works to ensure that the workforce engages all people, including those with disabilities.
    4. Youth@Work: Youth@Work is the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s website for youth in the workforce. They work to eliminate illegal discrimination by teaching youth about their rights and responsibilities as employees.

Devon Feuer
Devon Feuer
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