Resume Dilemma: Too Young


Having a hard time getting your foot in the door for interviews because you're young and inexperienced? It's true that many employers prefer to hire workers with a demonstrated track record of success. Employers may view older workers as more stable, mature, reliable and skilled than younger workers.

Put yourself in the employer's shoes. Would you hire yourself? Why? What do you offer that other candidates may not? Your job is to convince employers that they would benefit by hiring you. These tips will help your resume stand out from the crowd.

Use Youth to Your Advantage

What you lack in experience, you make up for in passion, desire and motivation to succeed. Let this passion shine through your resume; employers want to hire workers who are enthusiastic about their career choice. If you can take on less desirable tasks or work shifts, say so in your resume. A great way to relay the value you offer is by developing a qualifications summary. Here's an example of a summary for a photographer's assistant:

Talented photographer's assistant with a strong background in both theory and practical applications with hands-on experience as a photo assistant for magazine shoots and professional studios. Adept in a wide range of professional photo equipment, with access to a state-of-the-art darkroom, enabling work to be completed during regular and extended evening/weekend hours. Possess a variety of cameras, lenses and tools; willing to purchase additional equipment at own expense. Knowledgeable and keenly interested in all aspects of the field, including still life, fashion, printing and stock photography.

Overcome Objections

In the above example, the assistant used his summary to overcome possible objections to his youth and lack of experience. An employer might assume a young person lacks equipment, but his summary overcomes the objection by stating that he has equipment and is willing to buy more at his own expense. The employer might assume that he wouldn't have access to a darkroom, but his summary states that he does and is willing to work extended hours to get the job done. Although he has no work history in photography, he emphasizes unpaid experiences to show practical experience in the field.

Write a list of objections that employers might have about hiring you. Next to each objection, write down why the objection isn't valid. Then incorporate the reasons why an employer should give you a chance in your summary statement.

Prove You're Responsible

If you've ever been in a position of responsibility, provide details and examples on your resume to show you are reliable and trustworthy. These examples could be from work experience, volunteer activities, school projects, internships, hobbies and sports. Write about leadership responsibilities that you've had and completion of assignments for which you were selected over your peers. If you have work experience, you can mention your perfect attendance record, additional duties assigned to you because of your excellent performance, and experience training new employees.

Speak the Employer's Language

Review job ads and employers' Web sites for industry terms and lingo you can incorporate in your resume. Your resume needs to demonstrate your knowledge of the occupation and employer, sending the message that you understand the business and your communication style fits in with the employer's culture.

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