Help for Teens Entering the Job Market

by Nicholas Dobbins

For some teens, finding a job is incredibly important to their current and future financial well-being. Many teen jobseekers are former high school students who have just completed their education and are entering the workforce for the first time as adults. For them especially, the costs of not being able to find a good job can be astronomical.


When jobs are scarce, young people are more likely than older workers to be shut out of the workforce. So, if you’re a teen jobseeker, make sure to improve your chances by having a well written resume that has been proofread by at least one additional person. Find as many references as possible from people you know already in the workforce.  And be sure pursue whatever opportunities you’re able to find. While it may be more difficult to find a job in the current market, early success can make a big difference later on.


There are many resources that can help teens navigate the job market. Many have a specific focus, such as woodworking, agriculture, or business. Here is a partial list of Minnesota youth employment programs and services. (Many available opportunities are not listed here, so don’t forget to do your own research.  Also, keep in mind that some residence and eligibility restrictions apply.)

In addition to the selected programs listed above, DEED maintains a list of youth employment and training service providers across the state of Minnesota, which is searchable by county.


While the exact impact is hard to quantify, the potential benefits of a teen’s first job are plentiful. From learning how to search and interview for a job, to developing the necessary soft work skills, to the money in their pockets, summer jobs can offer teens a number of advantages whether they intend to join the workforce permanently or leave their jobs to continue their education in the fall.


This article first appeared in the April 2013 issue of Minnesota Economic Review.


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