How to find a job for a 16-year-old

Updated November 21, 2016

Maybe you have wondered how to spend your boring summer holidays, or maybe you need an after-school job to save up for a car. Whatever your reason, having a job as a 16-year-old can help you earn money while learning to be independent. Many different types of jobs are available to 16-year-olds. Knowing how to find a job can be simple if you know the process.

Create a typed CV. Include your educational background, any work experience and at least two references. Ask a parent or school teacher for help. Have someone else look over your CV for typographical or grammatical errors. Many jobs for 16-year-olds require applicants to fill out an application instead of submitting a CV. Bring your CV with you and copy the information, including the list of references, into the job application.

Decide on the type of job you want. Are you interested in retail or fast food? Are you looking for a summer job or a permanent part-time after-school job? Consider jobs that won't interfere with your school hours and keep in mind how you will commute to work. You might be limited in how far away from home you can work if you don't have transport.

Ask around. Ask your teachers and careers guidance counsellor for help. Both can be excellent resources for finding a job as a student; they might even have a list of jobs available for 16-year-olds. Seek help from your friends and family, too. People are more likely to notice "Jobs Offered" signs when they know of someone who is looking for a job.

Search for a job. Look through the classified section of your local newspaper. Go online and submit your CV to Monster or CareerBuilder. Walk around your local shopping centre and ask if any shops or kiosks are hiring. Many jobs are available for 16-year-olds in a shopping centre, ranging from working retail at a clothes shop to serving food in the food court.

Visit a temporary employment agency. Search the Yellow Pages for a list of temp agencies in your city. You will have to set up an appointment to meet with a representative of the agency, and you may need to take a typing test. Avoid dressing like the average 16-year-old. Stand out from the other job applicants by dressing up and bringing with you your polished CV.

Continue applying for jobs until you land an interview. Once you get an interview, research the company and its goals and philosophy. Practice good interview skills, including good posture, confident responses, making eye contact and smiling at the interviewer. Help the interviewer see what sets you apart from the other 16-year-olds who are applying for the position.

Within two days, contact the individual who interviewed you. Express your appreciation for the interview and re-emphasize your interest in the position.


Make sure to balance your time between school and work. Set aside time for homework.

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About the Author

Aubrey Warshaw has experience working in federal, state and local levels of government. He has a Master of Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in political science. Warshaw's written work includes policy briefs for a 9-12 institution, letters to constituents and various reports involving policy issues such as education and poverty.