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  • Writer's pictureRuth

How to find a job at 16/17

One thing you will undoubtedly need is a CV. At the end of this blog, we’ll have some CV tips and examples but if you still need some more help-drop us a DM!

Common places that hire young people:

  • Supermarkets e.g. Tesco, Sainsbury's (Christmas temp jobs too)

  • Retail stores e.g. Next, Primark, Boots (Christmas temp jobs too)

  • Restaurants & Cafe’s e.g. Chains like McDonald's but also small independent restaurants/cafe's.

Advice when looking for a job:

  • For large chains & big businesses, you can usually find out if they’re hiring from their website or job sites e.g. or

I got my first job when I was 17. I was on my home from college and walked into a restaurant & asked if they were hiring. Luckily, I always carried a copy of my CV incase I saw “WE ARE HIRING” signs in shops, so I was able to show him my CV. The then manager, asked for my experience which I spoke about waitressing being part of my GCSE Catering module. Then just like that, he offered me a trial shift & I ended up working there for 10

  • Always carry a copy of your CV! You never know when you may see a hiring ad.

  • Small/independent stores may not advertise on a website or job searching websites so calling up or asking in-store is always a good idea (pick a time when it wouldn’t be busy e.g. weekend evenings are typically busy for restaurants so they may not have to time for your query)

Being young and working:

I was the youngest employee and hated speaking up for myself or having to say no to an overtime shift or, for example, when I had church during hours of work I was really scared to tell my job but, when I did they were fine about it & I just left work earlier. For things like school or religious reasons-your employer legally is not allowed to fire you or discriminate against you for it. Just make sure things are communicated as early as possible.

Minimum wage for 16-17 year olds is: £4.55 an hour
For Apprentices under 19: £4.15
For 18-20 year olds: £6.45

Know your rights and your boundaries e.g. college hours.

Your employee should know you’re a student so certain hours you may have school, after school commitments and even exams. Secondly, especially as girls, we have to be careful with how late we work. If you know you’ll be travelling to/from work alone then either negotiate your hours so you won’t be out when it’s dark or find a day time job e.g. most retail jobs, cafe’s & supermarkets. Your safety is more important than money.

  • School > Work. Your employer should understand this and should understand when anything at work compromises this. E.g. asking to reduce hours around exam periods, working a maximum of 12 hours a week for example.



Things you can put on your CV:

  • Positions in school or outside of school: being in the council, prefect, leader, captains, mentor

  • Extracurricular: sports or clubs after school (even playing for your school team), volunteering roles, other interests e.g running your own business, blogging

  • Work experience: have you done any work experience while in secondary school? Have you been in a professional work environment & helped out in some way? e.g. my mum used to take me to her office in the summer because she didn’t have a baby sitter. While I was there, I would answer the phone and do basic things like filling, mailing & printing.= I put that down on my CV as work experience!

  • Skills that most jobs will want you to have: punctuality, ability to work independently & in a team, can take instructions, reliable, customer service skills - approachable, can talk to a range of age groups, willing to learn, dedicated/committed

Part of my CV from when I was 17 that you can use for guidance:

If you have any more questions about this or need some help then message us on the webchat Wednesdays 4-6PM or DM us on Instagram.!


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