Finding your first job is an exciting time. Whether it is a weekend job alongside studying, an apprenticeship, or a summer job, it is your chance to earn money, learn skills and become more independent.
Finding your first job
Many young people start working part-time while they are still at school or college. This:
- Gives you work experience
- Starts your CV
- Earns money!
Popular ways for younger job-seekers to find jobs include looking for posters in local shops and cafes, asking friends and relatives, and checking local notice boards.
Experience: I started looking for a part-time job by walking around the town centre and enquiring in different shops if there were any vacancies. One shop gave me an application form and I filled it with a lot of detail as I thought it was a good way to stand out from other applicants. I was given an interview shortly afterwards. I dressed smartly and brought a notebook which had a few questions in it – for example, the pay and the uniform. I also brought my Record of Achievement because I could show them certificates and photos from my hobbies. I tried to be confident and not give one-word answers or look at the interviewer, not the floor. A week later, I was offered the job - Hannah, 16, Witney
Younger workers - know the rules!
There are rules about how many hours you can work each week, and the kinds of work you can do. Depending on the situation, you or your employer may need to apply to the Local Authority for a license. But you should not let this put you off. The more early work experience you get, the easier it is to stay in work as you grow older.
Instant expert: Learn all about what hours you can work when you're under 16.
Jobs at 16+
At age 16 you will still need to stay in learning until you are 18. But this doesn't mean you have to stay at school. If you are keen to start or stay working, you can:
- Do an apprenticeship
- Get a job with training
- Work alongside full-time learning
If you chose to do a part-time job alongside study, you should make sure you know if your school or college has any rules about how many hours you can work.
Most jobs and all apprenticeships are advertised online. Sometime jobs are advertised on the company's own website, but others appear on listing sites like the National Apprenticeship Finder.
Get My First Job helps young people find out about the types of Apprenticeships and Traineeships which are available. You can search for opportunities or register your details to receive personalised emails.
Find that Job!
You can also find a company you would like to work for, and look for jobs and apply on their website. You may also be able to get job updates, so you can find out about jobs as soon as they are available. Sometimes this is described as "registering" or setting up an account.
Take Action: Sign up to receive our Hot Jobs newsletter to find out about opportunities in Oxfordshire for younger job seekers.
Broaden your job search
Oxfordshire borders on six different counties, and lots of people step across the borders to find their perfect opportunity.
Find your neighbouring young people's job site or NEET support:
- Gloucestershire Yes2Jobs and Youth Support Team
- Wiltshire Choices
- Elevate me West Berkshire
- Buckinghamshire Opps in Bucks and WannabeBUCKS
- Warwickshire NEET Support
It can be helpful to bookmark your favourite job sites and searches, to save time when looking for jobs.
Crucial: If you're looking for post-16 learning opportunities in Oxfordshire and beyond, UCAS Progress aims to list all post-16 learning destinations.
Once you've found a job or apprenticeship you like the look of, it's time to apply! See our tips on applying for a job.