Applying for a Job at 16 Years Old

By Kate Lesko , last updated July 13, 2011

With the increasing cost of living and the rise in demand for brand name apparel, electronics, and popular gadgets; adolescents are entering the work force to finance their hobbies, dates, and social lives. These young employees, some barely over sixteen years of age, often seek positions in retail stores, fast food chains, restaurants, amusement parks, and local shops. Inexperienced workers are an attractive pool of applicants due to their acceptance of a lower salary, tendency to work during evenings and weekends, and lesser selectiveness for job functions. While many companies and organizations are willing to hire youngsters, there are some tips and regulations that prospective employees should consider before the job hunt.

Keep in Mind

Before you start filling out job applications, make sure that you possess the required documentation. Depending on the state that you live in, you may have to obtain a Minor Work Permit, which dictates the amount of hours that you are allowed to work as a minor and possibly requires signatures of your parent, school official, and employer. While you do not need to fill out a permit form until you are offered a position, it is helpful to have the documentation available at a moment’s notice.

Where to Look

Once you have the green light to begin your job search, think about where you would like to work the most. A good way of determining which positions would be most appropriate for you is considering your strengths and personality. Are you a people person and a superior communicator? Perhaps a restaurant or movie theater would be an ideal working environment. Do you have any special interests such as literature, fashion, or sports? Depending on where your passions lie, try applying to stores that sell books, clothes, or sporting goods. It is recommended that you apply to places that will allow you to showcase your personality, strong character traits, and interests. If you find the right match, chances are that you will, not only enjoy spending time at your job, but also learn useful skills and information.

How to Apply

There a few ways you can apply for a job. The easiest way to be considered for hire is when you already know the owner, manager, or employees of the company as they can refer you or employ you on the spot. However, if you do not know anyone working at the site, ask for an application. Whenever you apply for a job, make sure that you have an updated resume with you for reference. While some employers do not require that you to submit one, it can make your application process smooth, quick, and accurate. Finally, ask to speak with the manager or the owner, introduce yourself, and express your interest in a position. By exhibiting your confidence and commitment, you will increase your chances of employment. They might even forego the application procedure and ask to interview you immediately. When looking for a job, especially at sixteen years old, remember to stay positive, patient, and persistent.

Resources and References
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