The key to a successful application for an apprenticeship is having a good CV and cover letter.
How To Produce A Good CV For Your Apprenticeship Application
Presentation: Type up your CV using a clear, uncomplicated font (Times New Roman or Arial tend to work best). Keep the same size font throughout (12 is standard) and avoid trying to do clever visual things (unless you’re applying for an apprenticeship that demands them). Clean and tidy tend to be far more important to the prospective employer.
One page: Keep your CV to one page. Managers and other professionals focused on hiring will be busy and have many applications to consider. Plus, keeping to a single page will force you to be concise and stick to the important points.
Organise: Categorise your skills, experience and achievements under headings: work experience, education and extracurricular activities. For example, part-time jobs go under work, secondary school under education and anything you’ve done in your own time should go under extracurricular activities. List them in chronological order, with the most recent first. Restrict the information you include to dates, locations and, most importantly, achievements. Employers want to see what you’ve accomplished.
Customise: Tailor your CV to the job. Use the job description to match the skills you include with what the employers are looking for.
Check it: Make sure your CV is free of mistakes, including spelling and grammar. Read it over several times and then ask someone else to check it. Show it to a careers adviser who is trained to help you do this kind of thing. Then check it again.
How To Produce A Good Cover Letter For Your Apprenticeship Application
Why you want the job: Lead with what drew you to the job first, keeping it to two or three sentences. The company might tempt you, the position may offer certain benefits, or the career area is something you are passionate about. Let them know why you’re interested.
Key person specifications: Almost every job advert lists the essential qualities a person must have to get the job. These will range from previous experience in the field to demonstrable skills such as teamwork and organisation. Depending on the job you’re after, they may include more specialist requirements, such as experience in specific software packages or familiarity with certain methodologies and regulations. Match your experiences and achievements with as many as possible in your cover letter, outlining what you meet and how you’ve met it as briefly as possible.
Anything else you bring to the table: Are you an avid reader? Keen on sports? Add some personal details to give the employer an insight into you.
Other Points To Remember
References: You’ll need at least two references when applying for a job. These are usually asked for once you’ve been offered the position. They’ll be from former employers, teachers, or anyone who knows you well, although relatives and friends are out of bounds.
Format: Every employer will accept CVs and cover letters in different formats, but as a rule, expect to submit both Word documents or PDFs via email. There may be application forms to fill out instead of submitting a CV and cover letter or application systems to navigate online. Rest assured, these almost always follow the path of a CV, so you’ll be able to transfer the information from one to the other with relative ease.
Accompanying evidence or information: Certain jobs, such as graphic design or journalism, will require a portfolio of work to demonstrate previous experience. This requirement will be made explicit, but it’s worth remembering that it may come up, so you can take the time to build one.