A Healthier Way To Land {Your} Teen’s First Job

This post has been guest written and sponsored by Cooper Fitness Center to provide our readers with some valuable information!

Cooper Fitness

For the past 11 summers I have had the pleasure of hiring teens and young adults for Cooper Fitness Center’s Fit & Fun Camps. As much as I enjoy running camps for kids 13 and under, I also enjoy mentoring our young high school and college-aged staff to mold them into young professionals. It is a great privilege to be one of their first managers and provide tools and tips that they can carry over into future employment opportunities.

Some basic steps parents can keep in mind to successfully guide their teen in landing that first job are:

1. Help your teen make a decision: Helping your child in their job search is important. Presenting some options for a first job is ok, but I also am a big believer in allowing your teen to practice how to search for a job. It is crystal clear during the interview process if the applicant has not selected the job and just been handed the idea from parents. Asking the following questions can help guide them to the best opportunities for their situation:

  • How much time can they devote each week to a job? Take a realistic look at current responsibilities, including sports and extracurricular activities, to ensure they won’t be overextended.  
  • What are they hoping to get out of the job? Is it a paycheck for weekend spending? Is it to help build a resume for college or gain experience for a future career?
  • What type of work will they enjoy? What do they enjoy and what type of environment do they thrive in?

2. Proofread their resume and cover letter and apply:  While parents shouldn’t create the resume or cover letter for their teen, they can offer to proofread for grammar and content. I often am asked what a high schooler should put on a resume for a job. My reply is anything to tie your experience to the specific job for which you are applying. Be sure to list any awards, leadership roles and times where customer service and communication skills were key.

3. Help your teen prepare for their interview: Some jobs will require an in-person interview which can cause anxiety at any age. While I don’t advise parents accompany their child to the interview, I do advise showing your support by helping them prepare.

  • Help them create a list of strengths they possess and some specific examples that showcase those strengths
  • Aid in the selection of their interview attire – remember, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed
  • Encourage them to create a list of questions to ask at the end of the interview, providing ideas if needed
  • Offer to practice with a mock interview

4. Be supportive:  No matter if they get the job or not, show them support. You can help prepare them for the next interview by discussing how it went and offering ideas to improve next time.

Best practices for teens applying for a job:

·        Immediately send a hand-written thank you card – this extra step makes a big impression

·        Apply for the job again if they didn’t get it the year before – this shows humility and perseverance

Best practices for parents helping their teen apply for a job:

·        Avoid creating and submitting the resume for their teen

·        Do not call the hiring manager to tell them how wonderful their teen is

·        Refrain from emailing the hiring manager to schedule (or reschedule) an interview for their teen

·        Avoid contacting the hiring manager to question the decision if their teen did not get the job 

If your teen is looking for a job over the holidays, or even next summer, it’s never too early to start researching prospective opportunities and get their resume ready. We’re already searching for seasonal positions here at Cooper Fitness Center and hope you’ll forward this to your best candidates to consider joining our Cooper team!

Click Here to apply for Summer Camp Counselor and Seasonal Swim Instructor with Cooper Fitness Center! 

Want to WIN a FREE Camp Session from Cooper Fitness Center?

Cooper Fitness Center is giving away a one (1) 3-Day Session at Winter Break Fit & Fun Camp (Dec. 18-20 or 27-29) and one (1) session of Spring Break Fit & Fun Camp (March 13-15)! Simply enter using the giveaway form below and we’ll select TWO winners on November 30th! Good Luck! 

[xyz-ihs snippet=”Cooper-Fitness-Center—Giveaway”]



Cooper Fitness CenterMeredith Rosson is the Assistant General Manager of Cooper Fitness Center. Meredith studied Exercise Physiology at University of Texas at Austin and has played an integral role in developing the Cooper Youth Programs since 2006. Cooper Fitness Center has offered youth programs for more than 25 years and provides a variety of year-round programs including basketball, swimming, tennis, boxing, martial arts, soccer and other seasonal programming.


Download the full Youth Programs Guide and register online at cooperyouth.com/Dallas.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here