The escalating costs of going to university means more and more employers are starting to realise that some of the best potential candidates for jobs aren't always the ones with degrees. Some canny employers are now creating better internal training programmes so that they can take young recruits and develop their skills.
With that in mind, if you're looking for your first job don't just look at the pay packet. Look at this as the first step towards a career, you have to think long term.
If a job pays well when you are 18 chances are the pay won't increase by much and you will still be earning the same salary when you are 25.
Think about what you would like to do - a job that you would find interesting. When it comes to an interview or recruiting an employee straight from school, employers are looking at your potential rather than your experience. So your enthusiasm and how you come across is very important. If you appear keen with a willingness to learn then you will impress. Also spend some time learning a little about the company.
And remember, while a boss will like the sound of someone who is confident, arrogance is a big turn off. You might have been at the top of the tree at school, but you won't be at your new place of work. Show that you have the self-confidence to cope with the pressure of taking on the challenge of your first job, but not the arrogance of someone who believes they already know it all.
If you are 16, 17 or 18, then a prospective employer wont expect you to have a huge CV, but it is worth putting in details of things you were involved in at at school. Were you in the young enterprise club for example?
And remember to enjoy the experience - this is an exciting time.