Let's be honest, trying to find your first job can be discouraging. Without the extensive experience that many employers are looking for, it can be difficult to convince employers that you will add value to their organization. However, what teenagers so often forget is that, even without traditional experience, we already have a lot of valuable skills. If you can market them the right way, employers will be excited to have you on board. If you struggle with highlighting your strengths, here are a few tips.
1. Remember that you do have experience
When job hunting, it's easy to become preoccupied with all the traits that you lack. However, this type of thinking can make you into your own worst enemy and hold you back from applying for opportunities that will teach you the skills you lack. If you think creatively about your past experiences, you will see how your academic and extracurricular experiences have prepared you for the working world. Confidence is key! Put yourself out there, even if you don't have as much traditional experience as other candidates.
2. It's all in how you say it
As noted earlier, your academics and extracurricular activities have given you valuable experiences and skills. Yet, on the surface, it may not be apparent to potential employers. When writing your resume or a job application, be intentional about how you describe your experiences. Be sure to explicitly highlight that your experiences taught you valuable communication, leadership, or collaboration skills. You may want to add specific examples such as a problematic group project in school or a challenge you overcame on a sports team.
3. Highlight your ability to learn
The one skill that every teen shares is our unique ability to absorb information quickly. Even if you have never done a specific type of work, be sure to mention to potential employers that you're a quick learner and will be dedicated to becoming a part of their team. Employers will be impressed by your excitement and passion, and it may very well move them to hire you.
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