If you’re reading this, you’re probably between 16 and 18 – still in school and are looking for ways to make a little bit of extra money on the side. Well, I was once in your shoes and it took me FOREVER to find a Saturday job (which I ultimately quit) and I’m going to tell you all about how I got it, what you need to prepare for and also why I left. So, buckle up and hang on tight!
First and foremost – how do you even get a Saturday Job?
The job market is incredibly competitive, and chances are there are hundreds of teenagers in your local area with CVs that look exactly the same as yours. So, you’ve got to strategize a bit and try and set yourself apart. One way to do this is by making sure you’ve got an awesome CV. I’ve made a set of “guidelines” below which might be useful when constructing your CV.
Include Volunteering Experience
Volunteering is a great way to gain valuable skills and insight into the working world. It exposes you to the structure of a working day, builds your ability to work in a team and shows that you are a proactive young person. There are plenty of volunteering opportunities out there - If your school has a career department, they might be able to help you find one but a quick google search is just as good. I was able to secure some great volunteering experience at the science museum which turned out to be an incredible addition to my CV!
This is quite similar to the previous point, but experience is honestly one of the best ways to add substance to your CV and set you apart. It shows that you can go out there and get things for yourself which is a really crucial quality to have, especially when applying to a job. Thanks to advancements in technology there are now more work experience opportunities than ever, and you can do them either in person or virtually – online. I’d recommend the organisations Young Professionals and Springpod for finding work experience opportunities. Check out their websites here:
No matter what you’re applying for whether its working in a restaurant, a small shop or a big firm the key to getting the job often lies in your ability to show interest and enthusiasm. What I mean by this is research the place – personalise your CV, make it niche, make the person who is reading it feel like you really care about what you do. For me – I spoke about all the times I had previously visited my future workplace and how I was familiar with how things worked there (even if it was only from a customer’s perspective).
I’d suggest using something like Microsoft word or Canva to actually put your CV together – keep it simple and don’t go too crazy with the colours or fonts.
Now, when it comes to actually applying for a job – I'd say it's best to go in person and if it’s your first, perhaps try something local. Allowing a company to put a face to the name is always helpful as meeting someone in person even if it's just for a few minutes is more impactful than reading a CV. If you can’t do this, perhaps try phoning up - these first impressions are crucial! This can be incredibly daunting however, so you could always send them a friendly email – a little bit of communication (no matter what the form) often helps to add substance to your application. There are plenty of jobs available for young people so I’d recommend checking online (simply enter job-type part-time near me) or visiting your nearest high street as there are going to be lots of shops and businesses there who will probably be willing to hire a teenager.
Here’s the final thing to consider – is getting a job right for you?
Even if it's just a Saturday job – it's still a big commitment which will take up a large proportion of your time. A-levels are already incredibly intense and a big step up from GCSEs so you might not be able to manage this alongside a weekend job. It’s important for you to understand how you function as an individual and what works best for you. Perhaps, applying for jobs during half term and summer holidays would be better – allowing you to dedicate weekends to relaxation, hanging out with friends or catching up on some extra revision. Personally, I had to leave my job when I started Year 12 because the combination of studying and working was something I didn’t want to do. I tried doing both for a little while, and although I could manage, I decided it would be better for me to focus on my A-levels for the time being.
In the end, a job can be a great way to earn some extra money – but it doesn’t necessarily have to be your primary focus right now and you could always do something a little less structured, which offers more freedom such as tutoring, babysitting or even writing for a blog.
Tiffany Igharoro is a sixth form student. One of her favourite pastimes is writing as it helps her organise her thoughts creatively and dynamically. She has won awards and prizes for poetry, academic and scientific writing and short stories. Recently, she won a nationwide historical essay competition that opened her eyes to the importance of how things are told, and the impact ordinary people have on the world. She studied art GCSE and believes there is something incredible about finding links between drama, art and maths.
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