How to find a summer job – top tips for your teenager

Getting the best results from applying online

This may seem to be the easiest option – fire off a load of CV’s or applications and wait for something to happen. It is the line of least resistance – a brief written communication. But it is often the toughest. You wait for a reply and then you wait some more. Self doubt creeps in and soon your teenager is disheartened.

In fact, applying online is the most difficult option in my view – it takes effort to be successful. In that short-written communication, you must create something that stands out above the other 200 people who applied.

Ok - where do I start?!

So how can your teenager raise their chances of getting an interview:


1. Make sure the CV/application is aligned/personalised to the job advertised.

2. What are they looking for in terms of skills, qualities, experience, do you share their values?

2. Pretend you’re the employer. Ask yourself why is your CV/application different from all the others?

3. What will make them want to find out more? What will make them request an interview?

4. Use a standard email address - nothing wacky or anything else - employers usually don't like it as it can show a sense of immaturity.

Covering Letter

1. Check whether there is a space to add some additional information or add a covering letter. If there is use it. Employers use this as a measure of commitment. No covering letter – can’t be bothered, neither can we!

2. Create a letter that tells them:

- Your skills and qualities – remember to check the job spec and align these with their requirements

- Your experience (this might not be work experience – this might be your experience of being in the Scouts, for example, explaining a team building exercise)

- Your availability - when can you start

- Why you want the job and how they will benefit from recruiting you

- References (not parents or relatives but people who know you in an outside interest)

3. Finally, check the closing date – give yourself time to complete your application with thought and check spellings, grammar and general presentation. Then click “apply”!!

4. Once you’ve applied keep the momentum going - have a list of those you are going to apply for and steam ahead. When applying online, in my experience, it is always a numbers game!

Tomorrow I will be talking about other routes into finding a summer job.

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