Have you ever felt that an employer wasn’t taking you seriously simply because you were too young? Some employers don’t even consider hiring young people, while others rank them below more experienced candidates. Here are some tips that will help you ensure that employers don’t immediately discard your application because they feel that you are too immature for the job:
Dress Professionally. If you want employers to see you as competent and responsible, you need to look the part. Make sure that you dress appropriately for the industry and that you pay attention to the details. For example, some employers believe that they can learn everything they need to know about a candidate by their shoes; make sure that yours are clean and polished!
Watch Your Written Communication. Often employers will form their first impression of you from written communication, whether it be your resume, cover letter or an email. Make sure that you come across well by carefully crafting every piece of correspondence that you send out. Proofread everything and never use abbreviations when contacting an employer.
Be Specific About Your Goals. Some employers are under the impression that youth are unfocused. Show them that you aren’t by clearly articulating your goals and the steps that you will take to achieve them. Make sure that you can tell them exactly how this position fits in with your career plan.
Clean Up Your Social Media Profiles. Most employers will do a social media scan before making the decision to hire you. What do you think they will find? Delete any embarrassing photos and comments. Use social media as a tool to showcase both your professionalism and your expertise.
Show Enthusiasm for the Position. Some young people are afraid to show the employer that they are excited about a position before it is offered to them. As a result, the employer forms the mistaken impression that they are not interested in the job. Don’t make this mistake. Employers are looking for candidates who will bring passion to the organization. Sometimes it is your enthusiasm that makes you stand out above the other candidates.
In this tight labour market, young people have to compete with more experienced applicants for entry-level positions. Therefore, it is more important than ever to step up your game and prove to the employer that you are a serious candidate for the job.
(Written by: Karen Bivand)