Jobs Every Teen Should Have on Their Resume

How do you land the job of your dreams? Get in touch with professional contacts, search for opportunities that match your skill, update your resume. What if you are at the very beginning of your career journey? That’s where teenagers find themselves. They don’t have contacts, skills, or relevant experience for their resume. They probably don’t even have a “job-of-their-dreams”! Teenagers need to seek out opportunities that will jump start their careers. The right resume credits will show commitment, leadership, work ethic, and ambition.


Internships are temporary positions at major companies that give you exposure to professional fields. No matter what your field of interest, there is an internship available somewhere. Though most often unpaid, internships offer valuable work experience and professional contacts. Though mostly in charge of menial tasks, like taking lunch orders or sorting mail, many interns get the chance to assist professionals in the field. Interns are rewarded for dedication and hard work, and often end up with resume credits far beyond entry level experience.

Internships are very competitive, and are usually staffed by college students and recent grads. Thankfully, many nonprofits and public spaces offer internships specifically targeted to teenagers. Start your search with your local zoo or museum. If you find a company you love, look for opportunities specifically for teens. Landing a prestigious internship will showcase your ambition, even if it isn’t in your future field.

Volunteer Positions
As a teen in the beginning of their career, volunteer positions offer a ton of experience without the competitive nature of an internship or job. Volunteering gives back to the community, but it also showcases your commitment and work ethic. With many volunteer opportunities open to younger children, as young as eleven or twelve in some cases, these can be the longest running positions on your resume.

Though there are amazing temporary volunteer opportunities, such as working events for a nonprofit, finding a position with long term potential optimises your experience. In some cases, a small number of hours over an extended period of time will look better than vice versa. Pick your favorite local nonprofit and volunteer for a few hours a month. If you like it, stick with it through your entire high school career. You will end up with four years of continuous work on your resume.

Camp Counsellor
Summer camps, day camps, school break camps; any time there are young children out of school, someone will be running a camp to keep them occupied. No matter your area of interest, you can probably find a camp counsellor position that will let you explore your passion! These positions give back to the community, and they usually pay fairly well. Camp counselling positions are varied and flexible. You can find full time, part time, and even residential positions; depending on your interests.

Being a camp counsellor is incredibly rewarding. You can explore different hobbies and interests, teach young children fun new skills and form tight friendships in the process. Professionally, counselling positions are a great example of stellar leadership skills. Highlight your counselling experience by bullet pointing the basic responsibilities of the job. You can use these positions to show off your resourcefulness and curiosity.

Online Jobs
Utilize your 21st century skills by working freelance on remote jobs online. The digital workforce is growing, especially for younger generations. An internet search can find freelance and remote positions available through private companies, freelancing platforms, and even Craigslist. Virtual assistants, social media marketers, and many other jobs are available for those 15 years old and older.
Online jobs require a strong work ethic to be successful. You must handle your own schedule, meet deadlines, and advocate for yourself with clients. Having online positions on your resume shows employers your ambition and motivation.

The “Outside-the-Box” Position
Once you have a few credits on your resume, it’s good to find some breadth positions to round out your experience. A breadth position is a job, usually temporary, that goes outside of your typical skill set or area of interest. These positions show a well-rounded personality and a curious nature. Later in your career, as you start to specialize, you will replace these positions with jobs in your field.

When looking for a breadth position, consider something temporary or freelance. You want to try a handful of different areas to showcase your versatility and work ethic. If you don’t know where to start, try a staffing service. Temp jobs offer teenagers the opportunity to try a range of positions, from physical labor to office work. Working for a staffing agency can be a single credit on a resume, or can be listed as individual assignments. Either way, it exposes you to a variety of work experiences.

Teenagers have a wealth of options available to begin their professional lives. Having the same part-time job throughout high school is a great option, but it isn’t the only way to build work experience. Focusing on temporary and seasonal work, along with traditional job options, provides lots of experience in a short amount of time. Be sure to go outside your comfort zone, even if just for a single temporary assignment. As a teen at the beginning of their career, breadth of experience can be the kick starter to success.


Byline: Ron Stefanski is the founder of and has a passion for helping teenagers find jobs. He created the website because he feels that teenagers need to focus on their professional passions much earlier in life and aims to teach them how they can do that. When he’s not working on his website, Ron is a college professor and loves to travel the world.

*Collaborative Post