I started working when I was 15 and at times worked 2 jobs or 3 a year. Some seasonal, others temporary or on call and some at the same time.
I have had unusual work experience.(still do)
Jobs I have had under the age of 18.
*Model - artist and print (on call - did until I was about 20)
*botanical gardens - planting, fertilizing, weeding
*baby sitting (on call)
*Riding stables - grooming horses,feeding and shoveling manure
*selling and making jewelry/art (still do this)
*street vendor - books (seasonal and did for a good part of my adult life too)
*cotton candy maker in fairs (seasonal)
*movie theater concession
*Fried Chicken place - washed dishes and cut chicken in the back (summer)
1 summer out side of NY
*veal farm - care of 115 calves
A few summers outside of the US
*Volunteer Forest firefighter - First in charge of care of equipment then fought forest fires using a fire flap, backfire torch, shovel, etc.(for the longest time I wanted to be a smoke jumper)
I got paid for all of these jobs except the forest firefighting job. A great experience and confidence builder.
To write a resume without WORK experience is simple. You write down your other experience and how it may apply to a paid job. For example I spent summers in my childhood on my grandparents farm. I read books, loved art, visited museums, took care of my cousins, helped my neighbors with their lawn and shoveling snow, etc. Get the picture.
Write down your talents and qualities- I spoke 2 languages (then), was willing to work hard, learned tasks well, enjoyed a challenge, etc
Write down your hobbies and clubs - I collected vintage jewelry repaired them, painted, wrote stories, I gardened with my godfather (not sure that was a hobby then it was more of a chore, but I'm glad I did it now)
Write down your awards and achievements - grades count (there is a lot of work done), I was on the honor roll, published in the school paper, had been in school plays (forced I was unbelievably shy), etc
The most important part? Get letters and references. Ask your teachers, parents, friends of parents, neighbors, etc. Ask them to write down your qualities, what are your strengths, how do you work, learn, etc. Ask them if it's ok for a prospective employer to call.(never give out contact info with out permission) Remember that these letters represent your former "bosses"
Consider volunteering to get some work experience and references.
Talk to people and ask questions. Be open to trying new things. A lot of the jobs I have had came from conversations.
If you are an artist or have something to sell there are online venues like Etsy, Ebay, artfire, etc. (read their rules)
I understand more than most the desire to work in something other than a mainstream job but don't just discount it. It's not the job but you and the people you work with that is what makes it interesting or worthwhile (of course the paycheck also). One of the most boring job I had was model(really). [ Carolena's advice column | Ask Carolena A Question ]
dntletitgo2urhead answered Thursday August 26 2010, 3:25 pm: It all depends on where you live - what restrictions your state puts on age influences who employers want to hire, and also what businesses are available. In my state (New york) we have labor laws stating that 16-17 year olds can only work a certain number of hours per week during the school year - that makes businesses want to only hire 18 year olds. It sounds like you're not too interested in being involved with customer service jobs, but to be honest there's really not many other jobs that you can apply for until you turn 18.
However, here are my suggestions for places you could apply at 17 based on what jobs my friends and I have had: Some after school daycare programs hire teenagers - you could try that if you don't mind working with kids each day. Where I live, there is an amusement park that hires teens 14 and up to run the game stands and the more mature teens are able to operate the rides. Also, some restaurants and banquet facilities/hotels hire teens that are under 18 to be dishwashers or bus tables. (most restaurants require servers to be over 18 in places where alcohol is served) You can become a lifeguard at 17 also, although that might depend on the weather where you live. Some of my friends also had jobs at a local nursing home when they were 17. Be sure to check out craigslist.org for your area and view the part time job postings to get some more ideas. It can never hurt to apply! And since you're 17, you've only got another year until you have a great chance at getting accepted for nearly any type of part time job that you may want.
But just to tell you, stores and fast food restaurants are really not too bad to work at. Since I turned 16 I've worked at Subway, a grocery store, and I currently work at McDonalds. I actually really enjoy working at McDonalds - it's not as bad as you might think. I am friends with all of my co-workers, and that's definitely the best part. It's not unbearably disgusting or anything to work in fast food - it's just a matter of getting one order done and moving on to the next one. It's different every day because every order is different, and that's what makes it fun too. I don't really like that it's minimum wage, but if you work a lot you don't even really notice because you do get some pretty hefty paychecks sometimes.
As far as building a resume, while you have no working experience right now you can always include any experience you have with volunteering. At this point in your life, most employers don't expect you to have much working experience, but volunteer experience makes you look like you are involved in something, and that's always a good thing. Volunteering could be considered anything from a one time donation or something you've been dedicated to for years. You can also include any sports, clubs or performances that you've been involved in both in school and outside of school. I would concentrate on including the things you've done in the past 4 years only, though. Try to make your resume about one page long so that it's full of information but not unbearably long to read.
Best of luck and hope to see you find a great job. [ dntletitgo2urhead's advice column | Ask dntletitgo2urhead A Question ]
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