Young, Inexperienced But Keen: How to Get a Recruiter to Consider Your Application

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 by: Jeanette Hannan

When competition for new jobs is at its highest, young people often struggle to get access to opportunities. With so many people applying for every role, recruiters are likely to focus on candidates with a lot of proven skills. To make sure that a potential employer takes notice, younger applicants may need to try different tactics to get their name on an interview shortlist. If you’re struggling to get a recruiter’s attention, consider these three strategies to help support your application.

Slow down the process

If you see a role that you like the look of, you may need to slow down the recruitment process if you want a recruiter to notice of you. This isn’t as obstructive as it sounds, and just means that you take more time to allow the recruiter to get to know you, before you send in your resume and job application. Make personal contact with the hiring manager, and see if he or she can hold a telephone interview with you, or even just catch up over coffee to discuss the role further. You should also find ways to broaden the conversation beyond this role. The recruiter may hire somebody else for this job, but it’s good to create a lasting impression for other roles that may arise.

Prove your value

With limited work experience, you need to look for other ways to show a potential employer that you are a strong candidate. Email the recruiter, and give examples of other achievements that you can relate to the role. For example, you could attach a presentation that you worked on for an assignment, to prove your communication skills. Send a link to a press article about voluntary work that you took part in, to prove your ability to adapt and work within a team. Even with limited direct work experience, you can still find lots of ways to show off your strengths.

Reduce the employer’s risk

Some employers are reluctant to take the risk with young applicants. With largely unproven work experience, it’s often risky to give you a chance, even though you may ultimately outperform other, more experienced candidates. You can lower this risk by suggesting less risky ways of working. Offer to work for a longer probationary period, or make it clear that you are happy to work temporarily, with no long-term guarantee of a permanent role. Many employers will appreciate this type of offer, and it will change their perception of you as a risky candidate.

The job market is extremely tough for young people, but that means that candidates must use any means possible to get a recruiter’s attention. You need to ensure your resume, cover letter and online presence, eg: LinkedIn Profile promote you at the highest level to ensure you to get your name on the shortlist.

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