Advice for teens on finding a summer job

Advice for teens on finding a summer job

We’re only weeks away from the summer holiday (so where’s the sun?!) and teenagers up and down the country are thinking about looking for work. So we’ve put together some basic advice for teens on finding a summer job; we hope you find it helpful.

Emily and Jack, Louise’s children, have always worked in the school holidays and have given us some great tips about working part-time too. Advice from a young person is always that much better! Our recent article written by students on choosing a uni place is one of our most popular, so you’ll be seeing more of this…

The legal bit

  • If you’re 13 or 14, you can work up to 25 hours a week. In both term-time and school holidays, you can’t work more than 5 hours on a weekday or a Saturday and 2 hours on a Sunday, between 7am and 7pm.
  • If you’re 15, you can only work up to 12 hours a week in term time, but you can work up to 35 hours a week in school holidays, as long as you take a break of at least 2 weeks. You’re entitled to a one-hour break (minimum) if you work 4 hours or more.
  • If you’re 16 or 17, you can work 40 hours per week, a maximum of 8 hours per day. You’ll now be entitled to the national minimum wage. This is currently £4.62 per hour for under 18s.

What to consider

  • Study commitments
  • Sport commitments
  • Location and mobility
  • Travel costs
  • Decide how many hours, on which days, you’d like to work (for example, if you need your weekend days free, you might want to think about a role in hospitality in the weekday evenings)
  • Indoors or outdoors, preferred industry
  • Relevant experience or training requirements

“Don’t focus on the pay per hour – think about the bigger picture.” Emily

Types of jobs on offer

  • Labouring (building work, gardening)
  • Admin (receptionist)
  • Retail (shop assistant, warehouse)
  • Recreation (lifeguard, leisure parks)
  • Sport (referee)
  • Postal (sorting office)
  • Hospitality (pubs, restaurants, coffee shops)

“I worked 5 hour flex shifts for Royal Mail on a zero hours contract and it was great to choose when I wanted to work. I also delivered takeaway orders, which gave me the choice of weekends or weekday evenings.” Jack

Applying for jobs

  • Write a cv and be ready to always write a cover letter relevant to the job (this is the way to show your personality and often tells them more than a CV). Including a cover letter shows you’re passionate about the job. If you’re applying online, do your best to find out the decision maker’s name and address the letter directly to them.
  • Look/register online for jobs; sites like Indeed and Gumtree are a good place to start.
  • Don’t just focus on looking online, though – go and introduce yourself anywhere you think might be looking for people. Leave a cv in person.
  • Register with agencies, if you can find one in your area that deals with part-time or holiday jobs.
  • Ask around and see where friends’ siblings and friends have found work in the local area.

“Don’t say no to anything. Go through the process of interviews – apply everywhere even if you don’t want the job. Interviews and/or trial shifts are still experience worth having.” Emily

We love this article from Your Teen Magazine with 5 tips to help you find a job. They’re an American website but the advice is golden!

Advice for teens on finding a summer job

How it worked for me – Emily

From the age of 16, I worked at a dog training school (I started younger and worked unpaid to get my foot in the door). It gave me great skills that I am now able to apply to other areas of my life – coaching, presenting information, teamwork, discipline, health and safety. I then went on to work for Jack Wills and had responsibilities that included customer service, visual display, supervisory and management responsibility and due diligence. I was able to work on a very flexible zero hour contract, and was able to leave and return seasonally, depending on my sports or study commitments.

My top tip for getting a job? Be confident, even if you are shi**ing it. Don’t think about what others are doing – be selfish. Basically do the opposite of everything you have been bought up to do – then revert back straight afterwards ?


We hope you’ve found this advice for teens on finding a summer job helpful. Let us know how you get on – good luck!

Louise & Anna x



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